Cockspur Coral Tree image

Cockspur coral tree

Erythrina crista-galli
Commonly cultivated, becoming widely naturalized, especially in coastal districts along drains & streams. Removal of this species is recommended.
Family: Fabaceae
Origin: Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay
Habit: Deciduous tree to 5-9m taking on a gnarled appearance with age, bark is covered with large curved prickles.
Leaves: Compound trifoliate leaves with prickles on stems.
Flowers: Very large spikes 30-40cm long of bright scarlet or coral-red pea like bird attracting flowers in Spring-Summer.
Fruit and Seeds: Long green pods age brown and open with a twist revealing large, hard, bean like seeds.
Roots: Substantial tap and lateral root system capable of invading plumbing pipes. Will sucker from root fragments left in ground. Branches should not be left on the ground as they can re-grow into new plants.
Dispersal: Vegetation & seed spread by water, animals, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: Hand dig/pull juvenile plants. Various foliar spray methods also drill-injection; frilling; cut and paint. Very difficult to control.
Has the potential to invade natural areas such as hind-dunes, rainforests, wetlands creeks, and saltmarshes.
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