A drive through Cairo’s urban landscape rarely sees any disruption of the sandy yellow and concrete grey. But throughout the months of May and June, a flaming red adorns the crowns of the city’s trees.
This bright and audacious colour belongs to the blossoms of the Poinciana Regia, also known as the flame tree; a shade tree that can be found in all corners of Cairo. From Dokki, Maadi, and crowded neighbourhoods in the heart of the city, to remote ends of satellite neighbourhoods and along industrial roads leading out of town.
Despite its pervasiveness throughout the megacity, the flame tree is not native to Egypt. Originally found in Madagascar, the tree was first brought to Egypt by Khedive Ismail, who wanted to plan the tree to decorate a number of gardens, most notably Al-Azbakia garden.
Though the tree itself is virtually evergreen, it only flowers in late spring and early summer. This year, Cairo and Giza residents have been enchanted by its bold and cheerful presence, documenting its beautiful effect on their neighbourhoods throughout social media.
Here are photographs of the flame tree captured by Egyptians from across the city: