Well known for its warm red to scarlet-coloured flowers which appear from the cold winter months through to spring, the Coast coral tree is a medium to large-sized deciduous tree whose size depends largely on the prevailing climate and soil conditions. This species is long lived, it can reach ages of 150 years or more.
Just like other Erythrinas, the Coast coral tree has egg shaped trifoliate leaves. Due to its similar leaf structure with the Common coral tree, it is difficult to distinguish the two species when they are not in flower. The flowers which appear in clusters before the new leaves are rich in nectar, attracting birds to the garden. The grey rough textured bark is covered with numerous thorn-tipped knobs.
This fast-growing tree is half hardy hence it can survive low temperatures and can resist frost to a certain extend. It is also suited to grow in arid conditions and can withstand long periods of drought, high temperatures and strong winds as well. Erythrina caffra allows growth of understorey vegetation through allowing the small plants growing under it to receive a little more light during the cooler months.
During the winter season, the bright flowers contrast with the bare grey branches adding warmth and colour to the garden. The thorny branches make this tree suited for privacy screens and live fencing around homes. This tree is also ideal for street sides, large parks and reserves. It can also be grown as a specimen plant in the garden.