Red flowering trees in Florida tend to be subtropical and tropical in origin. This makes them viable only in the southernmost areas of the state for an outdoor garden. Gardeners in the north can plant the smaller choices in containers and bring them indoors at the first sign of frost. Shop for the trees when they are in bloom in order to assure that you get the exact color you are looking for.
African tuliptree (Spathodea campanulata) is also known as flame of the forest, fountaintree, fireball, Gabon tulip tree, fire tree and is a member of the Bignonia family. The tree grows as tall as 80 feet and produces deep-green lacy leaves and red-orange flowers that resemble a tulip. Five to 10 inch long seed pods appear when the flowers are done. The tree likes a rich soil, but can take any kind as long as it has some fertilizer. Full sun is necessary for the tree to perform at its best, but it will survive in a shade condition. It is a fast growing tree that can grow as much as 6 feet a year when it is young and can be planted in southern Florida and the Florida Keys.
Peregrina (Jatropha integerrima) is also known as spicy jatropha. It is an evergreen that grows up to 15 feet tall and produces glossy bronze leaves that turn green as they age and 1-inch in diameter, star-shaped scarlet or vermilion-red flowers that grow in clusters and bloom throughout the year. It likes full sun to partial shade and any kind of soil as long as it is well drained. Peregrina can be damaged by even a slight frost and should only be planted in the most southern part of Florida and in the Florida Keys.
Royal poinciana (Delonix regia) is also known as the flamboyant tree, flame tree and peacock flower and is a member of the bean family. The tree grows from 30 to 40 feet tall and at least as wide. It produces lacy leaves that grow from 12 to 20 inches long and flame-red flowers that measure 4 to 5 inches across and 3 inches long. The flowers last from spring through summer and are replaced by dark-brown seed pods that grow up to 24 inches long and 2 inches wide. Royal poinciana needs full sun and dry to moist soil and is hardy in southern Florida and the Florida Keys. The one downside is the fact that the tree might not produce flowers until it is 10 years old.
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