Characteristics and care of the Erythrina caffra or Coral Tree


This is a tree that is increasingly being planted in warm-temperate and tropical gardens around the world. Its striking orange-scarlet inflorescences are very decorative, and in addition, As it does not require any special care, it is an ideal option for those who want to have a beautiful green space without having to complicate things..

His scientific name is Erythrina caffra, but perhaps you know it better by its common name: Coral Tree. Would you like to know more about him? 🙂

Characteristics of the Erythrina caffra

Erythrina caffra

La Erythrina caffra It is a fast growing deciduous tree that reaches a height of between 9 and 12 meters. It is native to South Africa, and belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae. Its crown is aparasolate, and its branches are usually protected with short and thick blackish thorns. The leaves are trifoliate, with ovate or rhomboidal leaflets which are about 16cm long by 8cm wide.

The inflorescences are orange-scarlet in color, and it should be noted that they appear before the leaves. The fruits are cylindrical, woody legumes, about 6cm long. Inside are the seeds, which are reddish.

How do you take care of yourself?

Erythrina in bloom

If you would like to have a specimen in your garden, follow our advice:

  • Location: outside, in full sun.
  • Land: it is not demanding, but it will grow better in those that have good drainage.
  • Irrigation: 3 to 4 times a week in summer, and 2 to 3 / week the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer it is highly recommended to fertilize with mineral fertilizers, such as Nitrofoska.
  • Pruning: it is not necessary, but if necessary it can be pruned at the end of winter.
  • Transplant: in spring.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring-summer. Direct sowing in seedbed.
  • Rusticity: supports up to -7ºC, but it is important to protect it from strong winds and frost as the wood is brittle.

What did you think of this tree?

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  1.   Javier said

    Hello Monica.
    I have seen that the erytrina Caffra holds according to this page up to -7 degrees. It seems excessive to me. If so, I would be delighted because I took some seeds and I would like to try. By the way, I live in Córdoba capital.
    I'd appreciate your advice on this species.

    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Javier.
      According to the portal, whose owner is an expert on the subject, it holds up to -7ºC. It seemed like a lot to me too when I first read it the truth. I used -4ºC at most, but hey, if he says it for something, it will be hehehe
      A greeting.