Caesalpinia gilliesii - Desert Bird of Paradise
This showy desert bloomer is even more spectacular in person than in pictures. The large yellow flowers seem tropical, with long red stamens, amazing against feathery green foliage.
Originally from Argentina, this desert beauty has naturalized in the Southwest, is tough and undemanding despite its fragile appearance. Happy in scorching sun or part shade, it looks best with an occasional deep watering, but will tolerate the worst drought, and it's hardy down to 5 degrees. A carefree plant in zones 8-10, it does fine indoors in a bright window elsewhere.
Hummingbirds love it. Deer leave it alone.
Nick/scratch the hard seed coat. You can use a nail file, or rub gently on the cement, just enough to allow water inside. Soak in warm water for 48 hours, changing the water several times if possible. Once the seeds look like they are swollen, they are ready for planting. Don't bury seeds too deeply, surface sow and then gently push into the soil, covering with a light sprinkling of soil. Place plastic wrap over your pot to keep in heat and moisture. Place in a warm spot, but out of direct sunlight until it is established. Remove plastic wrap once you have seedlings.
We recommend starting your seeds in peat pots so you can easily transfer to their permanent location without disturbing the roots. Very drought tolerant once established, prune in spring.