Caesalpinia gilliesii - (Hook.)Wall. ex D.Dietr.
Common Name Bird Of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise shrub
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards The green seed pods are severely irritating to the digestive tract[274].
Habitats Escaped from cultivation where it grows wild in pastures and dry habitats in Texas[274].
Range Southern South America - Argentina and Uruguay.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

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Caesalpinia gilliesii Bird Of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise shrubández_García
Caesalpinia gilliesii Bird Of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise shrub
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Caesalpinia gilliesii is a deciduous Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft 5in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The seeds are reported to have antitumour activity[274].


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Requires a sunny position[11], succeeding in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[200] including limy soils[182]. This species is on the borderline of hardiness in Britain. It can tolerate occasional lows down to about -12°c, so long as it is not too wet. It is best grown against a warm, sheltered sunny wall[200]. The plant succeeds against a warm wall at Kew Gardens, where it has grown to a height of 8 metres, it also succeeds in more open conditions on the Isle of Wight[11]. The plant is often cultivated for its very ornamental, showy flowers[274]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Seed - pre-soak for 12 - 24 hours in warm water and sow in a greenhouse in early spring[200]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Softwood cuttings in sand in a frame[200].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Caesalpinia decapetalaMysore Thorn, Shoofly02
Caesalpinia echinataPau Brasil, Brazil Wood, Indian Savin02
Caesalpinia spinosaSpiny Holdback, Tara22


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Expert comment
(Hook.)Wall. ex D.Dietr.
Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
Elizabeth Truswell   Thu Mar 29 2007
I am interested to know that this plant grows in Britain. I have memories of it when I was a child in the desert mining town of Kalgoorlie in western Australia, where we had a small grove of the shrubs growing in a very dry hard soil. It has a peculiar aromatic smell that i remember well.
John Murphy   Thu Jul 19 2007
I live in Bexleyheath, Kent. For some years now I have tried to grow this plant without success I would grow the plant to about twelve inches bring it indoors for the winter. The next year the same would happen. However one year I built a pergalar at the end of my garden and encased in polycarbonate for the winter. Three years later the damn plant has grown larger than the structure and it has got ten buds (florets). The problem is that now it's got a spread of over eighteen feet. How do I prune it?
Wylie Young   Wed Nov 25 2009
Of all the sites I looked at, yours was the only one to include germination information. thank you.
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Subject : Caesalpinia gilliesii  

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