Rajamalli Flower – Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Rajamalli is a tall shrub which grows to the height of a small tree. With its colorful red and yellow flower clusters rising in the shape of a pagoda, it is a beautiful garden plant too. 

Rajamalli Flower - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Rajamalli Flowers – Photo from Kottayam, Kerala

In English, it is called Peacock Flower owing to the peculiar shape of its flowers. They appear in clusters which are broader towards the bottom. Each individual flower has five spatula-like petals. Also, these petals vary in size, usually one of them is bigger than the others. They have foldings along the edge. Moreover, the long stamens – 10 in number – add to the overall attractiveness of the flower.

Botanical name of this shrub is Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Being considered as a native of the tropical Caribbean Islands, it is also known as Pride of Barbados.

Rajamalli appears throughout Kerala. The flowers can be red, yellow or a mix of both. Yellow Rajamalli is also called Swarnamalli.

Like many of the thorny shrubs, Rajamalli also has hard stems with thorns usually green in color.

They have long bi-pinnate leaves consisting of up to 10 uni-pinnate leaves, which in turn have up to 10 leaflets. 

Peacock flower belongs to the same family Fabaceae as Gulmohar or Royal Poinciana.

Rajamalli At a Glance

Type: Perennial Shrub
Family: Fabaceae
Botanical name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Common Names in English:
Peacock Flower, Dwarf Poinciana, Red Bird of Paradise, Pride of Barbados

Another name in Malayalam: Swarnamalli

Flowering: Throughout the year
Height: 3 to 5 meters
Main Uses: Garden plant

Distribution:
Native to Caribbean, tropical Americas, considered as native in India

Flowers of Rajamalli - Peacock Flower
Flowers year-round depending on the climate

Photos

Rajamalli - Peacock Flower
A flower has 10 stamens with bright tips
Rajamalli - Peacock Flower - Pride of Barbados
Colors ranging from red to yellow
Rajamalli - Peacock Flower - Leaves
The long bi-pinnate leaves
Rajamalli - Peacock Flower - Leaves
The leaflets
Rajamalli - Peacock Flower - Stem
The thorny stem
Rajamalli Flower - Pride of Barbados
Pyramid / pagoda like flower cluster

5 thoughts on “Rajamalli Flower – Caesalpinia pulcherrima

  • December 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm
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    the blooms are beautiful and i like the leaves, too. very pretty.

    Reply
  • December 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm
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    Kwiat jest prześliczny, a i liście ciekawe. Pozdrawiam.
    A flower is beautiful and interesting and leaves. Yours.

    Reply
  • January 5, 2013 at 7:44 am
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    Rajamalli is very much nostalgic since it was closely related to my childhood. thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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