Fire tree

Family • Leguminosae / Fabaceae - Delonix regia (Bojer.) Raf. - FLAMBOUYANT TREE - Hong hua ying

Scientific names

Delonix regia (Bojer.) Raf.
Poinciana regia Boj.

Common names

Fire tree (Engl.)
Flambouyant tree (Engl.)
Flamboyant (Engl.)
Flame tree (Engl.)
Gold mohn (Engl.)
Peacock flower (Engl.)
Royal poinciana (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Krishnachura.
CHINESE: Feng huang hua.
FRENCH: Flamboyan.
HAWAIIAN: Gulmohar.
HINDI: Gulmohar.
KANNADA: Kempu torai.
MALAGASY: Alamboronala, Hintsakinsa, Hitsakitsana, Kitsakitsabe, Sarongadra, Tanahou, Tsiombivositra.
SPANISH: Arbol del fuego.
TAMIL: Mayaram, Poo-Vahai.
TURKISH: Cennet A.

Fire tree

Delonix regia is a large, deciduous tree with fern-like leaves. Leaves are bipinnate, slightly hairy, about 30 centimeters long. Leaflets are oblong, in 18 to 30 pairs, about 1.5 centimeters long. Flowers are large, showy, red or red and yellow, up to 12 centimeters across. Pods are pendulous, elongate, woody, compressed, and up to 50 centimeters long.

Delonix regia - The Flamboyant Flower


– Introduced to the Philippines during the early Spanish period.
– Planted along roadsides and gardens.

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– Phytochemical screening yielded sterols, triterpenoids, phenolic compounds, and flavonoids.
– Bark yields ß-sitosterol, saponins, alkaloids, carotene, hydrocarbons phytotoxins, and flavonoids.
– Flowers yielded carotenoides, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, alkaloids, and ß-sitosterol.
– Leaves yield lupeol and ß-sitosterol.
– Stem bark yielded four triterpenes: lupeol, epilupeol, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and an aromatic compound p-methoxybenzaldehyde.
– Study isolated seven flavonoid glycosides: Kaempferol 3-rhamnoside 1, Quercetin 3-rhamnoside 2, Kaempferol 3-glucoide 3, Kaempferol 3-rutinoside 4, Kaempferol 3-neohesperidoside 5, Quercetin 3-rutinoside 6 and Quercetin 3-glucoside 7.
– A hydroalcoholic extract of flowers yielded sugars, flavonoid, tannins, phenolic compounds, steroids, and saponins.
– Root bark extract yielded secondary metabolites like tannins, phenols, alkaloids, terpenoids, sterols, cardiac glycosides.
– Study of water extracts characterized three major anthocyanins: cyanidin 3-O-glucoside, cyanidin 3-O-rutinoside, and pelargonidin 3-O-rutinoside.

– Antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-diarrhea, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory.

Parts used
Flowers, leaves, stem, bark.

– No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
– In Bangladesh folk medicine, used for the treatment of diabetes.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Efficacy of Aqueous and Methanol Extracts of Some Medicinal Plants for Potential Antibacterial Activity / Jigna Parekh, Darshana Jadeja, Sumitra Chandra / Turk J Biol 29 (2005) 203-210

(2) Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Delonix regia (Boj. Ex. Hook) / Vaishali D. Shewale, Tushar A. Deshmukh, Liladhar S. Patil, and Vijay R. Patil / Advances in Pharmacological Sciences, Volume 2012 (2012) /

(3) Quantification of Total Phenol and Flavonoid Content of Delonix regia Flowers / Shanmukha I, Harshil Patel, Jignesh Patel, Riyazynnisa / International Journal of ChemTech Research, Vol.3, No.1, pp 280-283, Jan-Mar 2011


(5) Evaluation of Delonix regia Raf. Endospermic mucilage as tablet binder / Kale R. H, Joshi U. M, Ambhore D. P., Sitaphale G.R / International Journal of ChemTech Research ISSN : 0974-4290 Vol.1,No.1,pp 11-15, Jan – March 2009

(6) Study of wound healing activity of Delonix regia flowers in experimental animal models / Mohd Asif Khan, Amit Saxena, Farheen Tabassum Fatima, Gaurav Sharma, Veerana Goud, Asif Husain* / AJPTR-American Journal of PharmTech Research

(7) Effect of Delonix Regia Leaf Extract on Glucose Tolerance in Glucose-induced Hyperglycemic Mice / Mahafuzur Rahman, Md, Nazmul Hasan, Md, Asish Kumar Das, Tozammal Hossain, Md, Rownak Jahan, Afsana Khatun, Mst, and Mohammed Rahmatullah / Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2011; 8(1): 34–36.

(8) Phytochemical, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties of Delonix regia leaves extract / Mohamed Abdel-Daim, Samar S Azab, Omayma A Eldahshan / Medicinal Chemistry Research (Impact Factor: 1.61). 01/2013; 22(9). / DOI: 10.1007/s00044-012-0420-4

(9) Utilising the Pods of Delonix regia Activated Carbon for the Removal of Mercury (II) by Adsorption Technique /
Shabudeen et al. / Int. J. Res. Chem. Environ., Vol.3, Issue 1, January 2013 (60-65)

(10) In vitro Cytotoxic Activity of Hydro Ethanolic Extract of Delonix regia (Bojer ex. Hook.) Flowers on Cancer Cell Lines / Madan R. Pusapati*, Tejaswi Jonnalagadda, Phani K. Kola, Ankamma C. Yarlagadda and Girijasankar Guntuku / British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 4(4): 443-452, 2014

(11) Gulmohar / Common names / Flowers of India

(12) Antinociceptive and cytotoxic potential of ethanolic extract of Delonix regia (Leaves) / Rozina Parul*, Md. Jahir Alam and Md. Sohel Rana / Indian J.Pharm.Biol.Res. 2014; 2(1):55-61

(13) Eco‐friendly corrosion inhibitors: the inhibitive action of Delonix Regia extract for the corrosion of aluminium in acidic media / O.K. Abiola, N.C. Oforka, E.E. Ebenso, N.M. Nwinuka / Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 54 Iss: 4, pp.219 – 224, 2007.

(14) Anthocyanin Characterization of Pilot Plant Water Extracts of Delonix regia Flowers / Felix Adje, Yves F. Lozano*, Emmanuelle Meudec, Paul Lozano, Augustin Adima, Georges Agbo N’zi and Emile M. Gaydou / Molecules 2008, 13, 1238-1245 / DOI: 10.3390/molecules13061238

(15) Biosorption of Methylene Blue Dye Aqueous Solutions on Delonix regia (Flamboyant Tree) Pod Biosorbent /
T.O. Owoyokun, M.Sc. / The Pacific Journal of Science and Technology, Volume 10. Number 2. November 2009 (Fall)

(16) Sorption Study of Co (II), Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions Removal from Aqueous Solution by Adsorption on Flamboyant Flower (Delonix Regia) / Jimoh T. O., Iyaka Y. A, Nubaye M. M /American Journal of Chemistry, 2012; 2(3): 165-170 / doi: 10.5923/j.chemistry.20120203.12

(17) Green chemistry: Petal sap of Delonix regia as a substitute for hazardous internal indicators in volumetric analysis / Pramod Kumar Jain*, Pushpa Jain** and Prajvi Jain / Biosci. Biotech. Res. Comm. 6(2): 186-189 (2013)

(18) Larvicidal activity of the flowers of Delonix regia (Bojer Ex Hook.) Rafin. (Fabales: Fabaceae) against the teak defoliator, Hyblaea puera Cramer / B. Deepa* and O. K. Remadevi / Current Biotica 5(2): 237-240

(19) In Vitro Anthelmintic Property of Gulmohar Flowers against Pheritima Posthuma / R.A. Ahirrao*, M. R. Patel, Sayyed Hamid and J.K. Patil / Pharmacologyonline 1: 728-732 (2011)

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Study Findings
• Antibacterial: Delonix regia was one of 12 medicinal plants studied for antibacterial activity. The methanol extracts showed more activity than the aqueous extracts for all 12 plants studied. The most susceptible bacterial were S. subtilis, followed by S. epidermis.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of leaves using a carrageenan-induced rat paw edema and cotton pellet granuloma models. Results showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in both models.
• Flowers Constituents / Phenols and Flavonoids: Study was done to estimate the total phenolic and flavonoidal content of the flowers. Results showed the flowers to contain significant amounts of phenols and flavonoids, with the total phenolic content to be much higher than the flavonoidal content.
• Hepatoprotective / Cytotoxic: Study of an ethanolic extract isolated three sterols (stigmasterol, ß-sitosterol, and its 3-O-gucoside), a triterpene (ursolic acid) and four flavonoids (quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, and rutin), plus an amino acid. Results showed cytotoxic activity against human liver cancer cell line (HEPG2). It also showed hepatoprotective activity against CCl4-induced hepatic damage, attributed to the free radical scavenging property of the flavonoids.
• Antimicrobial: In antimicrobial screening, a dichlormethane soluble fraction of a methanolic extract showed strong inhibition of S. paratyphi growth, with moderate inhibition of S. typhi, S. aureus and S. dysenteriae. Other fractions showed inhibition of C. albicans, S. cerevisiae.
• Antidiarrheal: Evaluation of ethanolic extract of D. regia for in vivo anti-diarrheal activity in experimentally induced diarrhea, prostaglandin E2-induced enteropooling and charcoal-induced motility test in rats showed dose-dependent antidiarrheal properties.
• Seed Mucilage / Tablet Binder: Seeds of plant contain glucomannose. Mucilage obtained from the seeds were used in the preparation of calcium carbonate tablets. Results showed the endospermic mucilage obtained from the seeds possesses comparable binding properties.
• Wound Healing / Flowers: Study investigated the wound healing properties of Delonix regia in experimental models in albino rats using incision and excision wound models. Results showed ethanolic and aqueous extracts of flowers significant promoted the healing process, as evidenced by increase in wound breaking strength, percentage of wound contractions, increased hydroxyproline content and decreased epithelialisation period.
• Antidiabetic: Study evaluated a methanol extract of leaf for glucose tolerance efficacy in glucose-induced hyperglycemic mice. Results showed significant hypoglycemic effect on glucose-loaded mice at every dose.
• Hepatoprotective / Anticancer / Antioxidant: On cytotoxicity testing, D. regia extract showed potent anticancer effect against HepG2 cell line. It also showed dose-dependent hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities attributed to the flavonoids content.
• Mercury Adsorption/ Anticancer / Antioxidant: Study evaluated the feasibility of using pods of Delonix regia activated carbon or the removal of Hg from water by absorption. Results showed a suitable indigenous active carbon as an adsorbent for the removal of Hg from aqueous solution.
• In Vitro Cytotoxic Activity / Flowers / Cancer Cell Lines: Study for in vitro cytotoxic effects of the hydroalcoholic extract of D. regia flowers showed anticancer effects against different cell lines (MCF-7 [breast], carcinoma of cervix HeLa cells, carcinoma of the brain, and carcinoma of colon).
• Antibacterial / Root Bark: A methanol extract of root bark of Delonix regia showed efficacy against all test bacteria (Gram negative E. coli, P. aeruginosa and Gram positive S. aureus, Strep pneumonia and B. subtilis).
• Antinociceptive / Cytotoxic / Leaves: Study investigated the antinociceptive and cytotoxic effects of alcoholic extract of leaves in Swiss albino rats. Results showed an analgesic effect which me be peripherally mediated via inhibition of synthesis and release of PGs and other endogenous substances. Results also showed cytotoxic activity by brine shrimp lethality assay.
• Diuretic / Flowers: Study evaluated the diuretic activity of a methanol flower extract of Gul Mohr in Albino rat model. Results showed significant diuretic activity, with increased urine volume and electrolyte excretion when compared to control.
• Corrosion Inhibitor / Aluminum: Study evaluated the inhibitive effect of D. regia extracts in reducing the corrosion rate of aluminum in acidic medium. Results showed D. regia extracts inhibited the corrosion of aluminum in HCl solutions.
• Methylene Blue Biosorbent: Dyestuffs are prominent organic pollutants that industry use and discharge into surface and subsurface water bodies. Study showed Delonix regia pod to be a very effective biosorbent in the removal of methylene blue dye from waste waters.
• Removal of Copper, Cobalt and Lead / Flowers: Study evaluated the ability of Delonix regia flowers to remove Co, Cu, and Pb ions through biosorption. Study showed D. regia flower is a viable agricultural waste for the removal of Co, Cu and Pb ions. The main adsorption mechanism was possibly a chemisorption reaction.
• Antibacterial / Leaf and Seeds: Study evaluated various extracts of leaf and seed of Delonix regia and A. aspera against five bacterial strains. The chloroform seed extract of D regia and ethanol seed extract of A aspera showed high inhibitory zone against E. coli than other bacterial strains.
• Antibacterial / Leaf and Seeds: Synthetic chemicals—methyl orange, phenolphthalein, phenol red, etc.—used as internal indicators in acid-base titrations are hazardous chemicals. Study evaluated Delonix regia for use as a natural indicator. Results showed D. regia flower petal can be used as a natural indicator, neither harmful to the environment nor causing any health hazard, while also being economical, simple, pollution free and inert.
• Larvicidal / Leaf and Seeds: A methanol extract of D. regia flowers were very effective against 3rd instar larvae of H. puera indicating a potential as bio-pesticide.
• Anthelmintic / Flowers: Fresh methanol and aqueous extracts of flowers of Delonix regia showed considerable anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma. The methanol extract was more active. Piperazine citrate was used as reference drug.