One of my very favorite flowering trees is the poinciana or flamboyant (Eng.) tree--we know it here as flamboyán, in Spanish. I even have a scientific name for it! Delonix regia (Bojer) Rafinesque, thanks to a nifty little book called Tropical Blossoms of the Caribbean by Dorothy and Bob Hargreaves. The flowers appear so soon after the leaves start that at first it seems as if the tree is blooming without foliage. It certainly deserves its common name in both English and Spanish because it's a spectacular tree, really showy. The flowers are more delicate-appearing than those of the African tulip tree, whose blossoms are much bigger and have more red in them, at least to my eye.
The first tree is on the Interamericana in David. The second one is maybe a half kilometer before you enter David on Via Boquete; it stands alongside of the Casa de Artesanias (which is not a bad place to buy painted and decorated tiles). I dearly love this tree--it has such character! Oh yes, free of charge, you also see our white Nissan Frontera truck.
Spectacular, yes, but the tree is has other interesting features. For one thing, the foliage is fern-like. Click on the upper left image, look towards the bottom of the tree and you'll see the frond-like character. I've also included an image of our flamboyán below; it's too young to bloom yet--needs a few years--but the character of the foliage is pretty clear.
In addition, the tree is a member of the legume family. I was astonished when we first moved here and I saw pods hanging from various trees--I'd never seen anything like that before in the temperate zone where we lived. Turns out that such trees are common. We do see several different types here. I hope to get images of them as they come into the pod stage.
One result, other than the visual, is that just like other legumes, the tree enriches the soil around it!
And to sum up, I've included a picture of yet another spectacular flowering tree. I asked that question of a dear friend, a long-time resident: "What's that purple flowering tree called, Jack?" He looked at me seriously and said, "Around here, everyone calls it the purple flowering tree."
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