The Flamboyan Tree is a theme you will see throughout Puerto Rican art and is celebrated as a major iconic image of Puerto Rico. You will see images of the flamboyant in much of the local art and souvenirs when in Puerto Rico.
The Flamboyan is actually spelled Flamboyant, and is also known as Royal Poinciana, Flame Tree, Peacock Flower, and Gulmohar.
It produces large, fiery red or golden blooms that blossom from spring through summer. This fast-growing, deciduous tree develops fern like foliage and takes on a natural umbrella shape. Its tolerance to poor soils and hard pruning make it an excellent selection for the drier areas of Puerto Rico, and even for bonsai!
Flamboyans were planted by the roadsides to shade people riding the roads on horseback. Originally from India, they thrive is dry climates and are most flamboyant on the south coast but still thrive in the wet forest.
A road trip through Puerto Rico in June and July to view the blooming flamboyant trees makes for a very scenic drive. Any Flamboyan road trip should include a full trip around the island and should include a trip to the town of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, located about 12 miles west of Ponce, is nicknamed “El Valle de los Flamboyanes” (“The Valley of the Poinciana Trees”), as many Flamboyant trees are found along the surrounding Río Guyanes, Río Macana, and Río Tallaboa Rivers. Also a drive along the north coast on Route 2 is lovely too.
You can read more about it on Uncommon Caribbean’s Blog.