The incredibly colourful poinciana is in bloom around the Sunshine Coast at the moment and I was taken with this example growing beautifully in the car park of the biggest shopping centre here. One gets so blasé about them, it's nice to be taken aback to see them blooming in an unexpected place.
They are a native of Madagascar but do very well here and in the tropics and are grown for their beauty as well as for being great shade trees. I remember the trees were everywhere in Darwin when we lived there and after Cyclone Tracy, a reporter from Canberra, who came to report on that event for AIS, was so taken with them he did also a story about the trees while he was there.
Usually described as orange, as are those in the first photo, I have previously posted about poinciana here, and those flowers were red.
(Photo from http://www.animalcorner.co.uk/insects/beetles/beetle_rhino.html)
When we were children, the house we lived in had an enormous poinciana growing in the yard and we practically lived in it. That tree was home to rhinoceros beetles which terrified us with their hissing, but what's childhood without some derring-do? I read that they are popular as pets, particularly in Asia, because they're harmless. What a shame we didn't know that then. I've never seen any since those days either. Then again, I haven't looked....
[19/11/14: edit. found this fine example in Redcliffe. Just love them]