This is a Poinciana tree — this one grows outside of the office where I sometimes work. I snapped it with my phone – wished I had my camera, because the phone just doesn’t give it justice. I googled it and came up with some interesting information:
Other common names for the Poinciana (described as the most colourful tree in the world) include Flamboyant Tree, Peacock Flower, Flame of the Forest, and Red Flame. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it grows to a modest height (usually 5m) but spreads widely.
The flowers are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green.
For a few months during the height of winter (especially in dry winter climates) it is deciduous, but the rest of the year provides a large amount of beautiful shifting shade. The drier the climate, the more flowers appear in spring/summer.
The seed pods of the Royal Poincianas are used in the Caribbean as a percussion instrument known as the maraca. Flowers are reputed to produce bee forage and the large pods as well as the wood are used for fuel.