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Products > Erythrina latissima
Erythrina latissima - Broad-leaved Coral Tree
Image of Erythrina latissima
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Fabaceae = Pea Family
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 12-20 feet
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Erythrina latissima (Broad-leaved Coral Tree) - A slow growing deciduous tree from southern Africa growing to 20 feet tall with a rounded crown. It has fissured and corky tan-brown bark and wooly and thorny branchlets that hold pinnately compound leaves with three large (8-10 inches wide), rounded green leaflets that are at first soft, velvety and green but with age are stiff, leathery and a gray-green color with small thorns along veins on both the upper and lower surfaces. From late winter to early summer appear the scarlet red flowers with broad banner petals in compact clusters on short upright peduncles, often present before new leaves emerge. Plant in full sun and irrigate occasionally. Hardy to mild frosts and short duration temperatures down to 28 to 30 F. This is an interesting small to medium-sized tree for near frost free gardens with interesting bark, leaves and flowers that is attractive to both people and pollen feeding birds. Erythrina latissima occurs naturally in frost-free wooded grasslands and scrub forest along the east coast of southern Africa from the Eastern Cape of South Africa north to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'erythros' meaning "red" in reference to the flower color and the specific epithet is the Latin word meaning "extensive" or "very broad" in reference to the large broad leaflets. There were two specimen trees in the 400 block of North Bundy in Los Angeles until 2012 but now only one remains and there is a nice specimen on the UCLA campus but otherwise this tree is pretty rare in Southern California. Our plants grown from seed received from the San Diego Zoo in 2014. 

This information about Erythrina latissima displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.