It’s that time of year again…The rainy season (Although, we could use a few more drops–Do your rain dances!). The time of year when the hillsides are BRIGHT green with flourishing flora, our cisterns are overflowing and the vividly bright orange flamboyant trees are in full bloom, dotting the hillsides with their breathtaking hues. We have a few visitors with us this week…And literally every time we round a corner, I hear a gasp from the backseat in exclamation of the beauty of these breathtaking seasonal blossoms. (Cover Image Courtesy Steve Simonsen Photography)
The Flamboyant Tree, known scientifically as the Delonix Regia or formally as Royal Poinciana, bust out their spectacular cloaks of color each summer on St. John. They can grow to as tall as 15 feet tall but as wide as 40 feet!
Just about mid-June, we start to see the bright orange flowers budding on these gnarled and wide reaching trees. And just a few weeks later, pops of brilliant, rusty orange clusters dot the hillsides and bring joy to anyone who is fortunate enough to happen upon this short stinted beauty. Their generous canopy provides shade with a floor that illuminates with the reddish orange blossoms as they fall from the branches in the later months of summertime.
The trees do very well in the salty air of tropical climates with a wide and sturdy root system that keeps them grounded in even the highest winds brought on by hurricanes and tropical storms. However, we only have the pleasure of these breathtaking blossoms throughout the mid-Summer to early-Autumn months (if we are lucky enough for a long seasonal bloom!). They are at their peak right now but as storms roll through with their strong winds and iguanas get to munching on their favorite floral treats, the flowers will soon start to thin and fall to the ground.
I remember the summer after Irma…many of the Flamboyant Trees on St. John, although still standing, did not bloom during the summer of 2018. Many of us thought them to be dead. But, the following summer, they recovered in full force and brought forth the most majestically brilliant colors, keeping true to their name.
The Flamboyant is native to Madagascar, but is endangered on its home turf. However, they can be widely found in Hong Kong, the Canary Islands, Taiwan, China, Florida, Hawaii, Texas and other areas around the globe where tropical climates persist. As you can see, there is no shortage of them on St. John during these beautiful mid-summer months 🙂