Coral Tree, Erythrina crista-galli, is a deciduous, perennial tree, which means that it looses its leaves each year and grows new ones. This tree is fast growing and can reach heights of twenty-five feet with a canopy of thirty-five feet.
Foliage, Blooms and Fruit
The foliage produced by the Coral Tree are leaves that are variegated green and yellow and are six inches in length which are present on a broad canopy that has spiny branches. These variegated leaves will die back and fall off in the fall and winter months of the year and new ones will appear in the spring after the tree blooms.
The showy deep red blooms of the Coral Tree are two and half inches long and are dense flower clusters that are located on flower spikes or racemes that are six inches long and are the first sign of new growth on the tree early in the spring of the year.
The show of the deep red blossoms that the Coral Tree provides each spring of the year is followed by the arrival of its fruit. This fruit is the reddish brown seedpods that are about a foot long and have poisonous seeds inside.
The Coral Tree does best when it is placed in the landscape where all the conditions it requires are to thrive are present. These conditions include the amount of sun it gets, the amount of water it has to have to thrive, the type of soil it needs and the amount of protection from the weather that it needs to thrive.
The amount of sun that the Coral Tree needs is full sun, meaning that it does best when it does not have to compete for the sunlight. This is not too difficult when the tree is mature, but it is definitely something that needs to be considered when it is immature. It is also very tolerant of high heat.
The amount of watering that the Coral Tree needs is considered medium, meaning that it does not need a lot. It is considered to be drought tolerant.
The type of soil the Coral Tree grows best in well-drained soil. It is not picky about whether it is acidic, alkaline, sandy, clay or loam.
This tree is considered tropical in nature and will need protection from the weather elements. It does best when it is planted in USDA Hardiness zones 10a through 11.
Propagating the Coral Tree can be done three different ways. It can occur from planting seeds, from taking cuttings or from division.
The Coral Tree is a good shade producer even though it will add a little flair when it blooms in the spring.