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Erythrina variegata

Pronunciation: Air-rith-rye-nuh vair-ee-eh-gay-tuh
Family: Fabaceae/leguminosae (bean family)
Common Name: Coral tree, lenten tree, tiger claw
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 60-80'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
  • 60 to 50ºF ZONE 12
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Before the leaves come out in late winter or early spring, coral tree puts on a spectacular show with bright crimson flowers 2-3 in (5. 1-7. 6 cm) long in dense terminal clusters. It may flower a little during the summer, too. The beanlike pods that follow the flowers are cylindrical, about 15 in (38. 1 cm) long, and constricted between the reddish brown seeds.
Propagation: Coral tree is propagated by seed or from woody tip cuttings. Seeds should be nicked or scratched with a file to break the hard outer shell before planting. Seedlings may flower in as little as 3-4 years. Take softwood tip cuttings in spring or early summer and semiripe cuttings in late summer. Root with bottom heat. Coral tree also can be propagated by layering.
Notes for Identification: Very tolerant of drought, the beautiful coral tree makes an excellent stand-alone specimen for south florida gardens where water is becoming more valuable than gasoline. Coral tree also is salt tolerant, and often used in tropical and subtropical seaside landscapeswarningseeds of all erythrina species are reported to be poisonous if ingested. The tiger's claw spines of coral tree can snag clothing and skin. Plant data from: floridata
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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