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TREE NUMBER 21.
Poinciana is a broad shady tree, acknowledged widely as having one of the most striking flower displays. Originating from the island of Madagascar, where it is now considered an endangered species, Poinciana is grown in all the tropical and subtropical zones of the world.
Poinciana trees begin shedding leaflets at the end of dry seasons but immediately put on bright new green growth followed by a dense summer display of orange/red flowers 8 to 9 cm in length. Seed is formed in pockets in long flat pods.
Poinciana is more suited as a park tree rather that street tree as the spreading low canopy and broad trunk and roots can interfere with modern traffic flows and pavements.
In Queensland, the 6cm long Common Rhinoceros beetle is often associated with Poinciana as the male and female forms of the beetle will feast on the bark or fallen wood, mostly without adverse impact on the healthy trees.
Poinciana has been listed as a pest tree in the Top End of the Northern Territory and on Christmas Island where the species invades disturbed rainforest, creating monocultures.
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