The Most Beautiful Tree in the World
A Rare and Very Exotic Flower for London gardens
The tree which first inspired me to a career in garden design was the Flamboyant Tree (delonix regia), which in botanic circles is widely viewed as the world's most beautiful tree. Unfortunately, it is not even remotely hardy in northern climate gardens and really needs a true tropical climate to be at it's best. It is unlikely to flower more than 30 dgrees north or south of the equator. For example there are a good number to be seen in Miami Florida but drive 180 miles north to Orlando and you are unlikely to find one. If you are lucky enough to see one in flower, it will literally take your breath away.
There is, however, a close relative with very similar but smaller flowers and foliage, known as Barbados Pride, caesalpinia pulcherrima (The national flower of Barbados). Trials as to the cold tolerance of this rare and exotic flowering shrub in the warmer micro climate of Inner London look promising and are ongoing - Watch this space, although it may take a while before we can reach conclusive results. If anyone has had experience with Barbados Pride here in the UK please get in touch with me.