Today’s photograph was submitted by Martin LaBar of
southern California South Carolina (aka Martin LaBar@Flickr (original image | Flickr BPotD Group Pool). Martin has a number of plant and plant-related photographs in his Flickr photo sets, so do visit them if you have the opportunity. Thank you, Martin!
“Probably originating from Mexico or Guatemala” is the native origin suggested by a reference for Caesalpinia pulcherrima in the International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS). However, much like Lantana camara, red bird of paradise or Barbados pride has been introduced to so many warm places around the Earth, its distribution should now be considered purely pantropical.
The Wikipedia entry on Caesalpinia pulcherrima links to this interesting article by Dr. S. Allen Counter (a professor of neurology and neurophysiology at Harvard Medical School) in the Boston Globe: Amazing Mystery. Dr. Counter details the medicinal properties of Caesalpinia pulcherrima and asks the question of how indigenous knowledge can (and so very often does) precede Western medicine’s knowledge of the human health uses of a plant.
Photography resource link: Musings on Photography is a weblog by Paul Butzi of Carnation, Washington. Its tagline, “Musings on photography from an artist perspective and art from a photographer perspective”, gives you an idea of what you’ll experience if you visit the site.