South Texas Gardening with Bob Webster

Mexican Bird of Paradise

It is a shrub growing to 9 feet  tall, native to the Tropics and Subtropics of the Americas. The leaves are bipinnate, 8-16 inches long, bearing 3-10 pairs of pinnae, each with 6-10 pairs of leaflets 5-10inches long and 4-6 inches broad. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 8 inches long, each flower with five yellow, orange or red petals. The fruit is a pod 2-4 inches long. 
This plant is also known as the Pride of Barbados.It is a striking ornamental plant, widely grown in tropical gardens. It is also the national flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and is depicted on the Queen's personal Barbadian flag.It is also found in many parts of India, known by the names Krishnachura or Radhachura (Bengali), Guletura (Hindi), Kenjige (Kannada), Settimandaram (Malayalam), Krishnachura (Manipuri), Sankasur (Marathi), Krishnochuda (Oriya), Sidhakya (Sanskrit), Mayurkonrai (Tamil), Ratnagandhi (Telugu). It is also known to Philippines as Caballero used as medicinal plant. It is commonly planted as an ornamental shrub in domestic and public gardens and has a beautiful inflorescence in yellow, red and orange. Its small size and the fact that it tolerates pruning well allows it to be planted in groups to form a hedgerow; it can be also used to attract hummingbirds.


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