Royal Poinciana: Classification, History, Occurrence, Characteristics, Phytoconstituents, and Economic Importance

Royal Poinciana: Classification, History, Occurrence, Characteristics, Phytoconstituents, and Economic Importance


The Generic name “Delonix” comes from the Greek words “delos” (visible) and “onyx” (claw) about the flower’s prominently clawed petals. The Latin word “regis” (meaning “royal, regal, and magnificent”) is the source of the particular name “regia” (Singh et al., 2014). Nature has long been a vast source of therapeutic compounds dating back to the Stone Age. For both traditional and modern medicine, plants have historically been the most abundant source of raw ingredients. Phytochemicals are largely responsible for plants’ therapeutic efficacy. The flame of the forest or flame tree is a species of almost evergreen tree with broad, open, umbrella-shaped crowns.They are essentially planting metabolites that are produced independently in every area of a plant’s body and that have definite physiological effects on mammals (Hait et al., 2018). It is known by a variety of names in every region and nation, including Chura (Bengali), Radha (Bengali), Royal, Flamboyant, Poinciana (French), Gulmohar, Shima, sunkesula (Hindi), mayirkonrai, Punjabi (Tamil), Flamboyant flame tree, Gold mohur, flame tree, Peacock flower, Gul mohr, and Royal poinciana (English). This tree needs light to flourish, but in the dark, it develops slowly and unevenly. It thrives in areas with both abundant and infrequent rainfall. Only in regions with a long and noticeable dry season are trees deciduous (Sharma and Arora, 2015).

Delonix regia Tree

The majority of the active ingredients are found in the flowers, leaves, and bark. The blooms have insecticidal, antifertility, wound-healing, antifeedant, anthelmintic, and parasite-inhibiting effects on humans in addition to their ability to heal wounds. D. regia leaves exhibit cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, ulcer-healing, and antifungal properties. With the antiulcer and cytotoxic effects of the leaves’ kameferol and saponin components, respectively; quercetin lengthens the small intestine’s transit time in the digestive tract. While aqueous flower extracts have been utilized in Taiwan as phytotoxicants to manage weeds like Isachne nipponensis and Centella asiatica, aqueous bark extracts have emetic effects in cats and monkeys. When tested on Anopheles gambiae larvae in their second instar, the ethanolic extract of the seeds results in a 42.78 percent fatality rate. The seeds have been found to contain a novel Kunitz-like -amylase inhibitor, which may be used to manage insect pests.


Kingdom Plantae

Class Spermatopsida

Order Fabales

Family Leguminosae

Genus Delonix

Species Delonix regia

Common name: Gold Mohur, Flame Tree, Peacock Flower, Gul Mohr, and Royal poinciana


The tree is a Madagascar native. It is currently common in the majority of tropical and subtropical regions of the world and is increasingly being planted as a garden and avenue tree in tropical India’s moist and dry regions. Delonix regia has been widely farmed in the tropics since the 19th century, but until the 1930s, science didn’t know where it originally came from. It is found in its native Madagascar by botanist Wensel Bojer in the early 19th century. Around 1840, it arrived in Singapore (Suhane et al., 2016).


Delonix regia is a Madagascar-born species. In the majority of tropical and subtropical regions of the world, it is currently pervasive. It is indigenous to Zambia and Madagascar. Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United States of America, Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Mexico, Niger, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, and other exotic locales all have diverse cultures (Suhane et al., 2016).


1. Delonix regia also known as Poinciana regia, Royal Poinciana, Gul Mohar, Flame tree, or Flamboyant, is a sizable decorative tree that is indigenous to Madagascar. It has lovely red peacock flowers and leaves that resemble ferns.

2. Gulmohar trees reach a height of 10 to 15 meters (maximum 18m). Woody stems that are upright, ascended, arched, spreading, or decumbent are present throughout. Young stems and twigs have minimal or no glabration.

3. The Gulmohar fruit is stipitate, unilocular, elongate, and oblong. Young fruit is green and flaccid, as it ages, it turns into hard, dark-brown, woody pods that finish in a small beak. The fruit splits into two pieces as it ages.

4. Fruit is from 30 to 75 cm long, 3.8 cm thick, and 5 to 7.6 cm wide (Suhane et al., 2016).

5. The stem form above the buttress is often regular in taper, and the trunk is buttressed.

6. The trees have large, open, umbrella-shaped crowns and are nearly evergreen. In areas with lengthy, pronounced dry seasons, it is deciduous. The bark is smooth or somewhat rough, grey or brown, and peeling (Bhokare et al., 2018).

7. The smooth, olive-brown, or black seeds have a dark exterior. The seeds resemble date seeds in shape and are firm, shiny, and oblong. They measure about 2 centimeters in length.

8. Flowers range in size from 5 to 13 cm, are actinomorphic or irregular, and have a mild fragrance. Five lobed, glabrous calyx. The sepals are large and scarlet with a yellow interior border and a green outside. The petals number five. Orbicular, broadly spoon-shaped, rounded, broader, 2- to 3-cm-wide petals are 5- to 6.5-cm long. One petal is longer and thinner than the rest and has a whitish inside with red dots. Four petals are orange-red, almost scarlet.

9. Stamen count ranges from 9 to 10. Stamens are independent, distinct, and monadelphous. The hairy, villus, and red or pink colored filaments.

10. The extract of D. regia is made up of a variety of substances from its flowers, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. Biparipinnate, alternating, light green, 20–60 cm long, slightly hairy leaves. Oblong, opposite, stalkless, and with complete edges, leaflets range in number from 18 to 30 and are about 1.5 cm long.

11. At the base of the leaf stalk, there are two compressed stipules with long, narrow teeth that resemble combs (Suhane et al., 2016).

Phytoconstituents of D. regia

According to reports, the D. regia plant contains polyphenolic compounds like flavonols, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids as bioactive secondary metabolites. These compounds are responsible for the plant’s antioxidant activity and have been linked to medical benefits like antiulcer, anthelmintic, hepatoprotective, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, glycosides, carbohydrates, and sterols have been found in the bark according to phytochemical test results. Alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, and carbohydrates are present in the leaves, whereas tannin, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, alkaloids, and carotenoids are present in the flowers.

Flowers include a variety of compounds, including alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, sugars, flavonoids, phenols, phlobatannins, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, quinines, and diterpenes (Hait et al., 2018).

Flowers of Delonix regia

The leaf contains alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, diterpenes, and steroids, according to Bhorga et al. (2019).

Bark: Phenols, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, sugar, proteins, and amino acids are all present in bark (Vala and Maitreya, 2017).

Seeds contain flavonoids, fixed oils, lipids, steroids, triterpenoids, and carbohydrates (Shantha, 2016).

Roots: Steroids, alkaloids, saponin, and flavonoids are found in roots (Bhokare et al.,2018).

The stem contains steroids, flavonoids, alkaloids, and saponin (Bhokare et al.,2018).

Isolated Compounds

Flowers: These substances are found in them: tannins, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, alkaloids, and carotenoids. Flavonoids include quercetin trihexoside, quercetin 3-O-robinobioside, quercetin 3-O-galactoside, quercetin 3-O-glucoside, quercetin 3-D-rutinoside, quercetin, and isorhamnetol rham Gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, and 2-hydroxy-5-[(3,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl) carbonyloxy]benzoic acid are among the phenolic acids. Stigmasten-diol-3-O-glucoside, 12, 15-Dihydroxy-chol-8-en-24-oic-acid-3-oxy-6′-acetyl-glucoside, and sodium- and potassium-added 12, 15-Dihydroxy-5-chol-9-en-24-oic-acid-3-oxy-rhamnosyl-rhamnoside make up the compound known as glucose. Phytoene, phytofluene, -carotene, Pigment X, C-carotene, carotene, Prolycopene, Neolycopene, and Lycopene, are all found in carotene hydrocarbons. Astaxanthin is a ketone carotenoid. Zeaxanthin, Peonidin-3-O-glucoside, Petunidin-3-O-acetylglucoside, and a variety of other acids including -ketoglutaric acid, oxaloacetic acid, pyruvic acid, and glyoxylic acid (Modi et al.,2016).

Leaves: Alkaloids, glycosides, tannin, and carbohydrates are present in the leaves. Flavonoids: Kaempferol-3-rhamnoside,

Kaempferol 3-glucoide, Kaempferol 3-rutinoside, Kaempferol 3-neohesperidoside, Quercetin 3-rutinoside, and Quercetin 3-glucoside. L-Azetidine-2-carboxylic acid is another. Prodelphinidin, Phytol, Oleananoic Acid Coumarin 7, 8-dihydro7-hydroxy-6-methoxy-8-oxo, Scopoletin, Squalene, and Vitamin E are all types of tannins. Lupeol, a triterpenoid saponin, is also a tannin (Modi et al., 2016).

According to reports, the D. regia plant contains polyphenolic chemicals, including flavonols, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids, which are bioactive secondary metabolites and have a variety of therapeutic benefits.

Bark: Bark is made up of sterols, terpenoids, alkaloids, glycosides, and tannins. Alkaloids, which include tannin (procyanidin and propelargonidin),

Fruits and Seeds

Fatty acids: oleic acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, 7-[2-octaeyclopropcn-1-yl] heptanoic acid (malvalic acid), and 8-[2- octacyclopropen-1-yl] octanoic acid (sterculic acid).

Trans-3-hydroxy-L-proline, -methyleneglutamic acid, and -methyleneglutamine are amino acids. Hydrocarbons are also present.

Phytol, Ergost-4-en-3-one, Sitosterol, Stigmasterol, and Ergost-5-en-3-ol are sterols. Galactomannan, crude protein, and tannin (propelargonidin and procyanidin) are all carbohydrates (Modi et al., 2016).

Root: According to Bhokare et al. (2018), it has secondary metabolites such as terpenoids, phenols, alkaloids, sterols, and cardiac glycosides. Lectin, fatty acids, proteins, and free amino acids are all present (Ahmed et al., 2009).

Economic Importance

1. Wood and the big pods are used as fuel. Wood has a calorific value of 4600 kcal/kg.

2. Apiculture Bee foraging is made from flowers.

3. The tree produces thick warty tears that are reddish-brown or yellowish in colour and are made of water-soluble gum. Gum from the seeds is used in the culinary and textile industries. The gum made from dried seeds is a binder used in the production of tablets.

4. The sapwood is pale yellow, while the heartwood has a yellowish to light brown colour. It is heavy (specific gravity: 0.8), soft, frail, brittle, coarse-grained, polishable, long-lasting, and water-resistant.

5. The long, hard seeds, known as “Karanga” or “pangam” oil of trade, are 18 to 27.5 percent fatty oil and are used as beads. It serves the tanning business particularly well.

6. It is commonly planted as an attractive tree in parks and streets throughout the subtropics and tropics.

7. In tea plantations, dairy farms, and communities, trees are planted as shade trees. Live fence posts made of it can be planted. The bug lac uses it as a host.

8. In semi-arid and arid regions, it is an effective tree for reducing soil erosion (Suhane et al., 2016).

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