Last Updated on July 31, 2022 by Paul Guzman
Recently many folks have been asking our staff and myself what the difference Between Bird of Paradise Plants are? It gets a little confusing, especially for the novice gardener or landscaper.
- Red Bird of Paradise
- Yellow Bird of Paradise
- Mexican Bird of Paradise
- Bird of Paradise
So…without further ado here are those differences.
Red Bird of Paradise – Botanical name: Caesalpinia pulcherrima:
The Red Bird of paradise in the southwest has a distinct bright red and yellow flower. Depending on what part of the southwest you live it could be considered a perennial. Also Called “The Pride of Barbados”. Sometimes mistakenly called the Mexican bird of paradise.
However, in colder regions or places where temperatures get below 20° degrees Fahrenheit it is considered an annual. From my experience, it is a low-care shrub. However, it does produce seed pods in late summer so there is some maintenance during the growing seasons.
It will bloom all late spring, summer, and into fall.
In the Las Cruces, NM area it can become a perennial providing you do the following.
How to take care of Your Red Bird of Paradise Plant
Water regularly during spring, summer, and fall seasons. In winter trim the plant low to the ground. Cover the root system with mulch to help keep the root system alive during the winter season. More information on the Red Bird of Paradise here.
The Yellow Bird of Paradise Botanical name: Caesalpinia gilliesii:
Sometimes called the Desert bird of paradise. The flower is not as showy as the Red Bird Variety. But, the plant is much hardier and requires less water, and is low maintenance plant.
They re-seed themselves and grow wild in and around the desert Southwest. Some folks call it the Mexican bird of paradise, but it is a “Desert bird of paradise” plant.
The Yellow Bird of paradise is a perennial and will come back vigorously every year. More info here.
The Mexican Bird of Paradise Botanical name: Caesalpinia Mexicana:
The Real Mexican Bird of Paradise
It is remarkably like the Red one, but the leaves are larger, and the flower is a bright yellow color. It is native to Mexico and will only bloom in spring. Gardeners in the Southwest sometimes prune this plant to make it into a small tree.
Many Southwestern cities use this plant for landscaping roads and interstate highways. It is virtually maintenance-free and requires little watering.
Here is another photo via the Mountain States Website. More on this plant here.
The Bird of Paradise Botanical name:
The flower of the bird of paradise plant S. reginae. It will bloom about once every 4-7 years.
This is considered a houseplant in places where outdoor freezing temperatures are common.
In the Southwest, it is placed indoors. However, if you live in an area where you do not get freezing temperatures you can plant them outdoors.
They can get up to twelve′ in height and about 4-5′ wide. Great for those who have high room ceilings.
Difference Between Bird of Paradise Plants
You should now know the difference between these plants. You can also search using the botanical names of each plant. The top results will corroborate this post.