Erythrostemon gilliesii

Botanical Name

Erythrostemon gilliesii (Hooker) Klotzsch

Common Name(s)

  • yellow bird-of-paradise

Legume Clades

Native Geographic Range

  • Southern South America

IUCN Status

Growth Form


Cultivation Status in AZ

Commonly cultivated


Cold-deciduous shrubs often growing to 8 ft (2.5 m) high. The bark is smooth and green to gray. Leaves are bipinnate with 6--13 pairs of pinnae plus a terminal pinna. Each pinna has 5--9 pairs of leaflets. Pale yellow flowers with showy, long, red filaments are produced in compact inflorescences at the ends of the stems. Flowering extends from spring into autumn.


Native to areas of Argentina and Uruguay where it occurs in savanna and woodland habitats. Widely planted in the southwestern U.S. and sometimes naturalizing in areas with sufficient rainfall.


The green fruits and seeds of this species can cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten (Plants that poison - an illustrated guide for the American Southwest).


Yellow bird-of-paradise is grown for its showy flowers which attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It survives with little care and tolerates heat and cold. Plants can volunteer from seeds in locations where there is sufficient moisture and sometimes spread into natural areas. Irrigation improves appearance and flowering. Growth rate is fast with adequate moisture. This species is relatively short-lived. Stems periodically die back and can be pruned to maintain appearance. Plants are hardy to at least 10° F (-12° C). The fallen flowers and fruits produce some litter.