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One of the most impressive erythrinas, this is a very rare hybrid of hortucultural origin. It produces flowers before its new leaves or just as the leaves begin to show. The flowers are a beautiful intense crimson color with a gradient to pink and white. Petals are very long and elegant. The flowers produce abundant nectar that attracts many nectar-feeding birds and insects, which attract the insect-feeding birds as well.
The Erythrina coralloides flowers come on when the tree has few if any leaves. The wood of this tree is weak and it can use some pruning to keep it from breaking itself down. The flowers have a hint of a purple hue. Bicolor form of the common Naked Coral Tree has white flower clusters, red flower clusters and mixed colored clusters. This hardy tropical tree is probably the most cold tolerant of the coral trees. Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping.
Seed is poisonous if ingested.
Leaves are alternate, compound, with three leaflets, and the base of the petiole is swollen and cylindrical. Young leaves are eaten. Flowers are large, orange, and have a claw-like shape.
This plant has compound leaves with three leaflets, showy scarlet blossoms in spring, followed by large beans which split to reveal bright red seeds in summer and fall. In nature can be found in a forest or natural area in open sandy woods and clearings; weedy in disturbed areas along roadsides, naturalized; landscape as cultivated herbaceous flowering shrub. Seeds are poisonous, but young leaves and flowers may be cooked and safely eaten.
See article about this plant: Coral Bean - Hummingbird Delight.
Cuttings root easily. Erythrina is a genus containing some 100 trees and shrubs, most with spiny trunks and branches and a number that produce strikingly beautiful flowers. The dwarf coral tree is an ideal tree or shrub for the small garden, especially for people who love the scarlet flowers of the common coral tree (Erythrina lysistemon) but don't have the space for a large tree. Its small dimensions make it ideally suited to high density housing complexes where garden space is limited. It produces an impressive display of scarlet red flowers en-masse, which are a favorite with many different birds who enjoy the nectar. It likes full sun and well-drained soil and bloom best after a period of drought. Quite large cuttings root easily.