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Plant Care Guide >> Trees >> Erythrina crista-galli
The name Erythrina means coral tree from the Greek word for red, in allusion to the colour of the flowers. The tree's flower is the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay. It is also the official city tree of Los Angeles, California. The plant ios grown for its pea-like, five-petalled flowers often as ornamental summer shade trees.
Common name:

Coral tree

Botanical Name:

Erythrina crista-galli




The branches are spiny and the leaves are leathery with prickly stalks, 12in long, with triangular leaflets up to 4in long. The longest leaflet is ovate-oblong in shape.


The flowers are deep red, 5-6cm (2-2.5in) long The unusual flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds. They come in long spikes, and are reminiscent of sweet peas.


It needs to be grown in full sun.


Frost hardy (down to -5ºC, 23ºF), or if covered with a thick mulch down to -10ºC (14ºF).


It can be grown in a wide range of soil types. Although it prefers sandy loams, it will do wellin clay and loam soils. It also is tolerant of a wide range of soil pH, ranging from 4.5 to 8.0. It can do well in nutrient-poor soil, as it fixes nitrogen.


It requires moist soil.


Regular watering is required for the plant.

Pest and Problems:

The plant is prone to two-spotted spider mite and mealybug.

Growth habit:

It is a fast growing plant and grows up to 5-8 meters tall. Plants take 3 - 4 years to flower from seed.


Fertilizer is rarely required, except in very infertile soils.


Pruning is required to be done for the tree to develop a strong stem.


Propagation is done from seeds as well as from soft wood cuttings.

Special Care:

No special care is required for the plant.

Landscaping Utility:

It is planted as an ornamental tree.


Ornamental tree

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