PlantFiles: Cry Baby, Cockspur, Fireman's Cap Tree, Brazillian Coral Tree Erythrina crista-galli
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On Jun 17, 2010, OsmanthusValley from Belton, SC wrote:
I LOVE this plant. I'm in zone 7 but a colder microclimate down in a valley in the country. Over winters well for me. Like other postings in colder climate, it's a shrub. No pests or disease and the deer don't eat it. I've never been successful in propagating. This site says air layer and seeds. Has this worked for others in similar climate? I've never gotten any seeds from it. Are the seeds in the ball at the end of the flower?
Our tree is 3 years old with dual branch structure. Though the winter was nasty, below 28 degrees several times in 2009-2010 winter, we thought our 5' tree was dead. It is back in the game with new branch growth shooting up from the trunk of the specimen. We enjoy the unusual blooms from the top of the tree and the bright orange red color is attractive to Hummingbirds. It does bloom through most of the warm months with little care, has a shape similar to a flower bouquet, able to produce shade and privacy once larger and will grow to over 20 feet tall. Prune all of the lower branches to maintain a dual or triple trunk structure for best effect when young.
Just moved into a home. In the front yard is a Fireman's Cap Tree. Neighbors say it is beautiful in the spring. Last week, we had a freeze here in Spring, Texas and the tree leaves are hanging down. Do I cut the limbs back? If so, how far back?
Any information is appreciated.
On Sep 10, 2007, joan30157 from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I love this plant here in Georgia zone 7 it is a bush grows to about 6 feet then completely dies back with frost to reemerge in spring. Mine flowers throughout the summer yet has never set seeds. So far I haven't got any cutting to root. The hummingbirds love this plant.
On Jul 9, 2007, bamagirl35973 from Cedar Bluff, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:
I found this tree growing in my aunts yard here in zone 7b. She said that she got it from her mother-in-law many years ago. It dies down every winter and comes back every summer. The present height is about 6 foot and it is bushy, more like a shrub than a tree. I just thought that this was very unusual to have something so tropical thriving here in our zone.
On Jul 7, 2006, halleymarcelle from Athens, GA wrote:
I found this plant on my great grandmother's homeplace in middle Georgia. No one seemed to recognize it, but were all amazed by how beautifully it has thrived on the abandoned place for many years. It dies back to the ground every winter, but by mid summer it makes an attractive eight foot shrub with unique foliage and those large spikes of tropical red flowers. A great specimen plant for our area.
On Sep 6, 2004, afy65 from Cliffsend, Kent United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:
Grown a few of these little babies in my conservatory and outside this year - I planted them in Feb of this year and they have now reached a height of 31" - You will get some yellowing and leaf loss on the lower levels of the tree if you let it dry out - keep any eye on the compost don't let it dry out between watering - but remember this is a tree and you don’t get leaf growth on the lower parts of a trunk.
On Jul 18, 2004, Hessel from Amsterdam Netherlands wrote:
I have bought this tree six weeks ago here in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I have got it inside my appartment, under a 6 meter (18ft) high glass roof. The tree itself is around three-and-a-half.
Am I the only one keeping it inside? :) The garden centre sold it to me as a tree that could be kept inside but it is losing a lot of leaves. The leaves on top (in the full sun, well if it shines in Holland) seem to be doing very well - the ones near the bottom die of quickly. I did not get any instructions on how to keep the tree. Is there anyone who has some experience having it inside? I would love to learn from you, how you cultivate it etc. I am still unsure if I should give it lots of water (as it has big leaves) or not. Greetings from Amsterdam.
P.S. Mine does have the yellow veins on the leaves and the young branches have thorns
On May 31, 2004, enalter from Leakesville, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:
A beautiful plant especially in bloom.. My research indicates that the plant is poisonious especially the seeds, so watch for the little children that think the seeds are pretty and prehaps would like to put them in their mouth.
On Apr 21, 2004, KristyLBW from Corpus Christi, TX wrote:
We live in Corpus Christi, Texas and this tree (Fireman's cap) grows in our backyard and produces a very brilliant pinkish red bloom with green leaves underneath. It's probably about 15 - 20 ft. in height and about the same in width. The limbs are very brittle but the trunk seems strong. It puts out a very fragrant scent and blooms until mid to late summer. I haven't seen another one in this area. I thought it might be dead this past winter as it looked really bare but it came back in full force. I hope to plant seeds from it in pots. Hope it works.
On Sep 5, 2003, AusTXpropagater from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
In Houston - zone 9, and Central Texas - zone 8, this plant regularly freezes back severely. It usually produces new shoots from the base after a brief dormancy during what passes for winter in the southern half of Texas. Most specimens that I have seen here form multi-trunked shrubs -- some up to 15 feet tall (in Houston). Contrary to one of the posted pictures, I have never seen it blooming without leaves. I have grown this plant from seed; however, in the past few years I have not seen the usual specimens bearing fruit. I can't explain the recent infertility.
On Jul 9, 2003, palmbob from Tarzana, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
This is a bit of a lower, shrubby coral tree, not very attractive in the winter when it's both flowerless and leafless... one of those coral trees that produce flowers and leaves at the same time (many do one, then the other), though if watered well, many will flower year round with brief periods of no flowers. Flowers elongate, along the last 1' of branch- hard to tell exactly where the flower starts and the branch ends. Many of the branches die at least near the tips when going through a deciduous phase... requires yearly pruning to keep from looking super messy and out of control, particularly of the dead branches. I prune in the spring so I know which branches are dead and which will come back (before that I cannot tell which are which). Tree is very durable and handles severe pruning well.
The seeds are very easy to germinate, and are very attractive oblong, smooth and slightly swirly looking brown/tan seeds.. and highly toxic! Their surface is reminscent of polished stone. While growing seedlings water is extremely important.. .but once established, its a pretty drought tolerant species.
Beautiful showy tree. Blooms (red, pea type blooms) all over in late spring/early summer and intermittantly all summer. Has bad thorns. Have had a 15 ft. tree freeze to the ground. (We actually mowed over it.) About the end of July, it began growing back & within a year was almost as large as before. In zone 8B the tips of limbs froze every year but when pruned off, it was fine. (Don't know what other soils it grows in but ours tested about 4.5.) Can be propogated by cuttings or easily grown from seed. Had several people who stopped to ask what that gorgeous tree was.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Gaylesville, Alabama Highland Lake, Alabama Jones, Alabama Glendale, Arizona Arcadia, California Arroyo Grande, California Chowchilla, California Clyde, California Encinitas, California Fresno, California La Presa, California Long Beach, California Manhattan Beach, California Merced, California Reseda, California Richmond, California Sacramento, California San Antonio Heights, California San Leandro, California Santa Maria, California Vista, California Biscayne Park, Florida Boca Del Mar, Florida Gulf Breeze, Florida June Park, Florida Lake Belvedere Estates, Florida Navarre, Florida St Petersburg, Florida Bainbridge, Georgia Chamblee, Georgia Cornelia, Georgia Dallas, Georgia Meansville, Georgia Ainaloa, Hawaii Hana, Hawaii Kailua Kona, Hawaii Baton Rouge, Louisiana Covington, Louisiana Metairie, Louisiana New Orleans, Louisiana Old Jefferson, Louisiana (3 reports) Saint Francisville, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Leakesville, Mississippi , New York Beaufort, South Carolina Belton, South Carolina Bluffton, South Carolina Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Parris Island, South Carolina Athens, Texas Austin, Texas Beaumont, Texas Corpus Christi, Texas Devers, Texas Galveston, Texas Houston, Texas (3 reports) Humble, Texas Laredo, Texas Missouri City, Texas Oakhurst, Texas Pearland, Texas Richmond, Texas Spring, Texas