Erythrina caffra | Coast coral-tree for sale | Kuskoraalboom
The Coast Coral-tree (Kuskoraalboom) is a fast growing, medium sized, deciduous tree with a neat, spreading canopy. It has very aggressive roots, even more so than E. lysistemon. The tree is known for its large, spectacular, orange-scarlet flowers, which appear in spring before leaf budding. Coast coral tree has a single trunk, up-right growth form. It is slightly frost sensitive and quite water wise. When not in flower it is difficult to tell Erythrina caffra and Erythrina lysistemon apart. One notable difference is the small hooked prickles on the petiole of lysistemon leaves. These are not present in E. caffra's case. However this distinction is not always fool proof.
A few gardening ideas:
Coast Coral-tree is an easy grower, requiring very little (if any) maintenance. As is the case with E lysistemon, it is prone to attack by stem borers, especially when young. These small worms (about 1cm) bore into fresh shoots, and once inside, work their way down along the soft center of the twig. Infected shoots subsequently die off. It is difficult to control this pest. Researchgate.net published an article on the problem. Fortunately the problem is less acute in mature trees. Erythrina caffra flowers in early spring, often in profusion. Some specimens are known to bear cream-white flowers, which is quite unique. Erythrina caffra is a very beautiful tree for a large garden, but should be planted at least 10m away from any paving. Watch out when buying coral trees. Very few retail nurseries know the difference between Erythrina lysistemon and caffra.
It is interesting, given the species' aggressive roots, that the Coast Coral-tree does well in a large pot. Consider to expose the tree's swollen roots as part of the display. Pot planting is the way to go if you have a small or even very small garden. Prune and feed your tree in late summer. It will re-sprout before winter and flowers should form from this new growth in spring.
Value to honeybees: Nectar, N0-2; Pollen, P0-2; Flowering months 6-9. (See blog-post "The bee-value of South Africa's trees" for an explanation of codes)
For more information on this species go to PlantZAfrica Erytrina caffra, Coast coral-tree,Kuskoraalboom
Currently only available in 50L
Erythrina caffra (Coast coral-tree, Kuskoraalboom) in 50L for sale.
Recommended retail price-50L