(L.) Sw., Obs. Bot.166.1791
Gallito, Barbados pride, Bird of paradise flower, Flower bence
Glabrous shrub or small tree; older stems bearing sharp prickles to 1 cm long. Leaves bipinnate, with 7-9 pairs of opposite pinnae; petioles to 5 (8) cm long; rachis and pinnular rachis bearing minute, acicular, glandlike structure at each node; petiolules ca 5 mm long; leaflets usually in 9-11 pairs per pinna, opposite or subopposite, oblong or obovate, rounded or emarginate at apex, obtuse to rounded at base, slightly inequilateral, ca 1.5 cm long and 7 mm wide (to 2.3 cm long and 10 mm wide). Racemes subcorymbose, terminal or subterminal; bracts caducous, subulate, to 3 mm long; pedicels 2-6 cm long; calyx tube 3-4 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes obovate, to 1.5 cm long; petals bright orange, 5, obovate, clawed, spreading, ca 2 cm long, l reduced, ca 5 mm wide; stamens 10, ca 4 cm long, unequal, the filaments orange, villous at the base; style orange, extended about 2 cm beyond stamens. Legumes flat, 9-12 cm long, broader above the middle, beaked at apex, obliquely acute at both ends, pendent, elastically dehiscent; seeds about 6, ovate, ca 8 mm long, brown. Croat 4856.
Cultivated at the Laboratory Clearing. Probably flowers and fruits throughout the year, especially in the late dry season to the middle of the rainy season.
Pantropical in cultivation; probably native to tropical Asia. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Panama and from tropical dry forest in Los Santos and Panama.