Caesalpinia mexicana - Mexican Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise plants are splendid for desert gardens. They thrive in scorching heat with almost no water, while looking lush and airy, a relief in a panorama of cactus.
Caesalpinia mexicana blooms spikes of butter yellow blossoms that pop against feathery green foliage. They flower throughout the warm season, then form woody pods that explode as they mature. Caesalpina grows fairly rapidly to 10' tall and wide, can be can be grown as a small tree or pruned to keep it a fat shrub.
Native to Northern Mexico, it needs full sun, good drainage, very little water. It's evergreen in zones 9-10, will lose it leaves if frost occurs, but is hardy to 15°F. This is a lovely plant for any garden. Hummingbirds flock to the buttery flowers.
The hard seeds need to be nicked and soaked before planting. Start them in sandy soil and keep them warm and moist till they sprout.