The Broad-leaved coral tree is easily identifiable by its large, 3-foliolate leaves. The foliage is soft and initially woolly in texture, becoming grey-green and leathery as it matures. The bark of this tree is corky with thorns, becoming deeply grooved as the tree develops.
Deciduous, the Erythrina latissima is a small to medium sized tree that generally grows to a height of 5 to 8 m. Distinctive flowers, crimson to brown-red appear from winter to early summer, usually before new foliage is produced. The nectar of these flowers attracts various bird species to the garden. The showy flowers are followed by large, brown to black seedpods that bear orange to red seeds, each marked with a black spot. These seeds (also known as lucky beans), are traditionally threaded on to a string to make decorative necklaces.
The Broad-leaved coral tree is a fairly slow grower and will withstand light frost once established. It has an invasive root system and care should be taken not to plant the tree too close to paving or buildings. This is a beautiful specimen tree that will provide interest throughout the year. From the stark branches with the colourful flowers in winter to the soft foliage in summer, the Erythrina latissima is an ornamental tree that will add value to your garden.