Mother Tree

Erythrina berteroana

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erythrina (er-ith-RY-nuh) (Info)
Species: berteroana (ber-ter-oh-AY-na) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bellingham, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 1, 2004, bobonic from Bellingham, WA wrote:

We have just started out wonderful Mother Tree. My wife and I have this tree because of its "roots" not the roots of a tree but where it comes from. She is from Costa Rica and where you look you see this gorgous tree as fencing with barbed wire wraped around it! What a border! We enjoy looking and watering our little guy who we have had since just a seedling. We brought it back with us in hoping it would grow up here in North West corner of Washington State. And boy does it ever, well in the summer anyway. I have found it sort of produces a funny smell, not necesarilly bad smell but just a weird one. And also at night the leaves droop, and it is sort of alarming to see that the first time we saw it. We thought it was dying, but as soon as the sun came back up the next day it just ... read more


On Oct 3, 2002, Kazabee wrote:

We have had a Mother Tree for about 6 years. It grows fairly quickly with proper care. We have yet to see ours bloom, but this summer it really sprouted up outdoors and grew thorns! It nearly died on us due to improper potting (poor drainage). The roots practically disintegrated and it was down to just a few shoots on a withered looking stalk about 5 feet tall. Be sure you keep it in a pot that allows for good drainage. Can be kept indoors years round in full light, though I highly recommend keeping it outdoors during the summer in full sunlight!
From July throu August this summer, by keeping it outdoors in full sunlight, it came back to life! We are learning more on this wonderful plant as we go along. We are hoping to have it flower next year now that it has recovered... read more