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The Yellow Poinciana is one of the most recognized flowering trees in subtropical and tropical areas. The Poinciana tree grows to a height of 35 to 40 feet. The grayish bark is nearly smooth and develops into a thick trunk. Additionaly, it has a broad, spreading, flat-topped open crown, with many somewhat-weak branches. The tree often grows wider than it is tall. The bright green delicate leaves are alternate, bipinnate, and 12-20 inches long overall; each leaf has 20-40 pairs of primary leaflets, each further divided into 10-20 pairs of 2-inch long secondary leaflets.
The flowers are borne in showy terminal clusters and are large with 5 petals each up to 3 inches in length and blooms literally cover the tree tops in summer. Blooms are scarlet or red. Fruits are brown, dry, hard, flat, elongated pods 12 inches long or more containing several seeds, which are used for propagation. It has no serious insect or disease problems. The tree benefits from pruning to manage its shape; it has an aggressive root system and should be planted at least 10 feet from any structure. The pods create a litter problem. This splendid tree has attractive foliage and showy flowers and is suited for landscape use on the seaside, as a garden or park summer-flowering tree, street tree, specimen tree and in a xerophytic garden. It can also be trained as a bonsai plant.