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Products > Plants - Browse By Plant Category > Tree > Erythrina caffra 'South Coast'
Erythrina caffra 'South Coast' - Cream Coast Coral Tree

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Erythrina caffra 'South Coast'
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Fabaceae = Pea Family
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 25-40 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Erythrina caffra 'South Coast' (Cream Coast Coral Tree) - A medium to large semi-deciduous tree to 30 feet tall or slightly more by as wide with dark scattered prickles along the stems and bear dark green trifoliate leaves with ovate leaflets that often drop in late fall or early winter. The showy flowers, appearing on thick stalks at the branch tips mid-winter to early spring, have a short wide standard petal that curves upward to show of the stamens below. Typically this species has bright red flowers this unusual selection has cream colored flowers with lght reddish tint to the buds and petal margins. Often leaf drop and flower occur at the same time making for a very beautiful sight. Plant in full sun and irrigate only occasionally - quite drought tolerant in coastal southern California. This tree is not very frost tolerant with tip damage occurring even in short duration temperatures much below 28F. The typical Erythrina caffra is a popular tree in southern California because of its large size, its abundance of red winter flowers over a long period, its dark green foliage and its ease of cultivation. A nice garden tree that deserves a location in a dry location in the garden. As with many of the coral trees this species produces heavy trunks of soft wood that when overwatered are prone to breakage so it is best to water infrequently. The nectar is attractive to birds. This species is found in forests in frost-free, or nearly so, coastal regions of the Eastern Cape and northern KwaZulu-Natal. The name Erythrina is from the Greek word 'erythros' meaning "red" in reference to the color of the flowers of most of the species. The specific epithet "caffra" was applied to this plant by Carl Thunberg, often cited as the father of South African botany and comes from the Arabic word for an unbeliever. In the past this word was use to describe people and plants coming from eastern South Africa, as this was an area south of the range of Arab traders. Our plants comes from seed collected at South Coast Botanic Garden in August 2012.  The information presented on this page is based on research that we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens we have visited, as well how it performs in our nursery crops out in the field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information that would aid others in growing Erythrina caffra 'South Coast'.