flame tree

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flame + tree, from the fiery colour of the flowers.



Royal Poinciana in full bloom.

flame tree (plural flame trees)

  1. (botany) Any one of several trees or shrubs with yellow or bright red flowers, such as Rhododendron arboreum, Brachychiton acerifolium, or Delonix regia.
    The people had stared in awe at the magnificently colored flame tree.
    • 1919, Charles Francis Saunders, With the Flowers and Trees in California, R.M. McBride & Co., 47:
      ... its scarlet-flowered cousin the maple leaved Sterculia, or Australian flame-tree, which we grow in California for ornament, too, is a tough waterproof fiber a couple of inches thick, that is good material for cordage and mats.