duck key

An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys
























Royal Poinciana Trees (aka Flamboyants) and Duck Key


An May 30, 2010 article in the Miami Herald stated that the royal poinciana trees that line South Miami Avenue are blossoming again. Apparently they had not bloomed during the past two decades ever since the Florida Power and Light erected highway style light poles with high intensity lights which it is argued disrupted the tree's biological cycle. New shorter capped lights replaced the high intensity lights and this June the royal poincianas are magnificently abloom.

The artice made me think that many many Duck Key residents miss the enjoyment of seeing Duck Key's poincianas in bloom since they leave the island for northern destinations in the spring. Duck Key has few street lights to stress the poinciana' cycle.

This web page will let them know what they are missing.


The first poinciana in Florida was planted in 1917 by plant collector David Fairchild.

The original developer of Duck Key, Bryan Newkirk, intended to plant avenues of royal poincianas, jacarandas, and other flowering trees common to the West Indies as part of their Caribbean theme. Duck Key developer Bryan Newkirk's dream ended before this was accomplished.

The flamboyants and many other flowering trees found on Duck Key are there thanks to the efforts of thoughtful residents.The island with most flamboyants to see is Plantation Island. Many are visible driving down West Indies Drive. Six flamboyantsl may be seen on Yacht Club Island. Center Island contributes several flamboyants for the passerby to see and Indies Island has several.

This showy tree, which is a native of Madagascar, grows well in Duck Key soil.

Duck Key is advertised as Florida's Caribbean Island in the heart of the Florida Keys. On another Caribbean island, Barbados, islanders often use the flamboyant's natural shade for picnics. They find it useful for taking a restful siesta under the cool shade of this tree while happy tourists "like mad dogs and Englishmen, go out in the midday sun." The flamboyant tree is certainly one of the world's most beautiful trees, so much so that occasionally a year round resident of Duck Key can be seen out in the midday sun gazing at its grandeur.

Below are a few of the poincianas growing on Duck Key.






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