Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Delonix regia (Bojer ex Hook.) Raf.

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Flower and bud. © R.L. Barrett
Flower and bud. © R.L. Barrett
Fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Fruit. © R.L. Barrett
Leaf. © R.L. Barrett
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO

Rafinesque, C.S. (1837) Flora Telluriana 2: 92.

Common name

Flamboyant; Flame of the Forest; Poinciana


Blaze odour resembles that of green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) with perhaps a suggestion of shallots (Allium ascalonicum).


Stipules small, up to 3 mm long, caducous. Stipule scars small and inconspicuous. Leaflet blades about 8 x 3 mm, bases very oblique. Lateral veins not or scarcely visible on either the upper or lower surfaces. Secondary leaf rhachises ending in a scarred, leafless tip.


Flowers large, about 15-16 cm diam. Calyx lobes green to yellow on the outer surface but red on the inner. Petals spathulate, four petals in each flower being red while the fifth is yellow on the upper (adaxial) surface flecked with red. Stamens 10, filaments red, hairy towards the base.


Fruits quite large, flat, usually more than 30 cm long and about 6-7 cm wide. Seeds arranged transversely in the pod. Seeds about 15-20 x 5-10 mm. Testa quite hard, surface somewhat striped or mottled.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from Madagascar, widely cultivated throughout the tropics, now naturalised in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range not known but collected from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in disturbed beach forest and gallery forest.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stages of the Tailed Emperor Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

Often planted as street and shade trees and will withstand very dry conditions.

Seeds of this species are currently being used as a coffee substitute and for small-scale oil production.

They appear to be non toxic and could perhaps be used in other capacities.

Poinciania regia Bojer ex Hook., S. Curtis, Bot. Mag 56: t2884(1829), Type: The plate, S. Curtis, Bot. Mag. 56: t. 2884 (1829).
RFK Code
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