Growing The Fiery Summer Floral: Pride of Barbados - The Bend Magazine

Growing The Fiery Summer Floral: Pride of Barbados

Growing Pride of Barbados in the Coastal Bend landscape.

Image of the Pride of Barbados

If the colors of a sunset could be replicated in a flower, the result would be the Pride of Barbados. Also known as the Peacock Flower and Mexican Bird of Paradise, Pride of Barbados’ Latin name, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, means “most beautiful” and is certainly an accurate description.

This heat-loving shrub makes a statement in any Coastal Bend landscape. A member of the Fabaceae (pea) family, this fern-like bush typically blooms in summertime. The red, orange and yellow flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden, which adds to the spectacular show of colors.

A distinct characteristic is the long, red stamen extending beyond the length of the petals. The pistil of the plant projects upward creating a stairway of seed pods, and the symmetry of the flowers is pleasing to the eye.

When planted en masse, this deciduous shrub makes an excellent screen or a mixed barrier. Pride of Barbados loves the heat and can tolerate the cold. The Coastal Bend is in Zone 9 of the USDA Plant Hardiness Map, meaning Pride of Barbados may freeze to the ground during winter, but will grow back from the roots in the spring.

Dwarf varieties are also available, and they put on the same stunning show during the summer months as larger varieties. The Pride of Barbados has earned its designation by the Texas AgriLife Research program as a Texas Superstar Plant.

Growing Up

Pride of Barbados can be easily grown in the Coastal Bend. It’s a low-maintenance shrub that prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Spacing and height, 5’ to 8.’ This hardy shrub does not mind even the hottest summer days in the Coastal Bend. Water regularly until established, then no supplemental water should be needed. Grows quickly in alkaline or acidic soils. No insects or diseases are a serious threat.


When planting Pride of Barbados, dig the hole twice as wide as the plant and as deep as the root ball. Choose a spot that receives full sun for the best blooms. Even a mild winter in the Coastal Bend can keep Pride of Barbados from being evergreen. Prune in late winter. This shrub makes a quick comeback in spring, so give it some space to bush out for a striking summer show.

Fun Facts

This flower represented Barbados, one of the 56 nations of the British Commonwealth, on the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle’s wedding veil. The Pride of Barbados flower can also be found on the Barbados coat of arms. The independent island nation has embraced this beautiful plant, which is believed to be native to the West Indies or tropical Americas, and of which its people are rightfully very proud.

Looking for more Gardening? Check out Growing the Mighty Texas Redbud or Growing Melons in the Coastal Bend.