July 24, 2017

Flamboyant

Delonix regia - Royal Poinciana

Alison Wherrett Photo | Delonix regia or Royal Poinciana in bloom in January 2012 at Church Point, New South Wales, Australia

THE WEEKEND EDITION (So big it covers two days)

Reaching upwards of 40 feet tall with lacy, fernlike foliage and clusters of flame-red blossoms, is it any wonder some people think Royal Poinciana, or Delonix regia, is the most beautiful tree in the world? Also called flame tree or simply Flamboyant, this native of Madagascar is at home in more tropical climes. It is a legume, which means it can fix nitrogen in the soil much like your common garden pea. Photographer Alison Wherrett has this to say: “In Australia, it only grows in some areas of Sydney and Southeast Queensland. I photographed this at Church Point, New South Wales, in January 2012.”

Did you know: There even was a song called “Poinciana” from the 1950s, a tribute to a tropical passion. Here at the first four lines.

Poinciana, your branches speak to me of love
Pale moon is casting shadows from above
Poinciana, somehow I feel the jungle heat
Within me, there grows a rhythmic, savage beat