Q: My wife and I recently were visiting Nassau and wanted to know the name of the trees with orange flowers which appear to be growing all over the area.
A: Thanks for the photo, it helped tremendously. This doesn’t happen often but Nassau County, Florida (where I am located) is confused with Nassau, Bahamas or Nassau, New York. However, I am fairly certain I can help you as I recognize the tree as one which is grown in the South Florida.
The tree you referred to is the Royal Poinsiana, Delonix regia. This tree commonly grows wider than tall reaching heights up to 40 feet with potential 60 feet spreads. It is a deciduous tree with brilliant red-orange blooms, literally covering the tree tops from May to July. There is nothing like a Royal Poinciana (or better yet, a group of them) in full bloom. The fine, soft, delicate leaflets provide dappled shade during the remainder of the growing season, making Royal Poinciana a favorite shade tree or freestanding specimens in large, open lawns. The long (sometimes up to 18 inches long), dark brown seed pods hang on the tree throughout the winter, then fall on the ground in spring creating a potential nuisance. Therefore this tree would not be the best choice for urban environments. It flowers best when located in full sun and tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions. You are located in Texas and I suspect your cold hardiness zone would not accommodate this tree, which grows in 10B – 11.