One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tropical tree of the pea family, with showy red or red and yellow flowers.
Genera Caesalpinia and Delonix (formerly Poinciana), family Leguminosae: several species, including the scarlet-flowered royal poinciana (D. regia), native to Madagascar
- ‘Other plants here include the strychnos (from which strychnine is derived), spathodea, and poinciana.’
- ‘It's lovely to have magnificent old trees in the garden - jacarandas, gums, poincianas - but sometimes the ground beneath them becomes a wasteland of scrappy grass, roots and weeds.’
- ‘McLean's journey began in Nightcliff, the Darwin bayside suburb where the streets are named after jacarandas and poincianas and every garden bursts with tropical life.’
- ‘It is late July: the poincianas drop red petals to the asphalt.’
- ‘Ask about the medicinal qualities of plants like the poinciana (the national flower), wild sage (used in teas to treat colds and chills), and soursop (used to make ice cream and preserves, and as a sedative for children).’
Mid 18th century: modern Latin, named after M. de Poinci, a 17th-century governor of the Antilles.
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