Erythrina lysistemon

A deciduous tree which bears distinctive clusters of bright orange-red flowers at the beginning of spring.
FLOWER COLOUR:  
AVERAGE SIZE (H) x (W): 10m x 8m
FLOWERING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:   J F M A M J J A S O N D

An attractive deciduous tree with a dark grey bark. The trifoliate leaves are light green.  The tree bears beautiful, scarlet flowers bone in short dense heads on long stalks.  The fruit is a slender, black pod that is constricted between the seeds.  The pods split open to release bright red, hard cased seeds with a black eye.

ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS:
The flowers are rich in nectar and attract a variety of birds such as Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Mousebirds and White-eyes.
The dead wood is soft and is often excavated by birds that nest in hollows like barbets, hornbills and woodpeckers.
Hollow trunks are often used to house a swarm of bees.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION:
Scrub forest, woodlands and grasslands.

MAINTENANCE:
Low maintenance.

WATER REQUIREMENTS:
Water moderately when young. Avoid watering in winter when the tree is dormant.

GARDEN THEMES:
Bushveld, country, rockery, woodland

LANDSCAPING USES:
It makes a wonderful avenue tree or focal point in a large garden. It is particularly useful for attracting wildlife to the garden as the flowers attract nectar feeding birds. The soft wood makes it a favourable home for birds such as Barbets and Hornbills that excavate cavities in trees for nesting holes.
FLOWERS:
FOLIAGE:
BARK:
FRUIT:
The fruit is a green, segmented pod that becomes dark brown as it ripens. It splits open to release the seeds which may remain on the tree for months.
SEED:
The seeds are small, shiny and bright red with a black spot on one side. The seeds drop around the base of the tree and are often transported by birds to other locations.
SPINES:
The trunk and branches often have short, hooked thorns or prickles that offer protection from herbivores.
WILDLIFE GALLERY:
CULTIVATION:
Easily propagated from seed or truncheons taken in spring.

FULL GALLERY:
WITH THANKS TO:

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