Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Coral Tree, Bucayo
Erythrina fusca

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erythrina (er-ith-RY-nuh) (Info)
Species: fusca (FUS-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Erythrina caffra
Synonym:Erythrina glauca

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
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

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive eliasastro On Jul 20, 2012, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

In fact Erythrina fusca is NOT the same plant with Erythrina caffra. Erythrina fusca has mostly red flowers, while Erythrina caffra has orange flowers, so all the photos of orange flowers here are of Erythrina caffra and not of Erythrina fusca. There is a problem with the synonym of Erythrina fusca "Er. caffra Blanco", but the accepted name of the true species of E. caffra is "Erythrina caffra Thunb".
Erythrina fusca has a great color variation from red to red-orange to orange, but the most common is the red. Also, the inflorescence is much more elongated than E. caffra.

Positive pforrester On Jun 21, 2006, pforrester from Fallbrook, CA wrote:

I wanted to buy this tree but I coudn't find any at my local nursery yet they had one growing near the parking area, so I asked if they had any. After hesitating, the nurseryman took me on a little cart ride out to their growing field. There were half a dozen or so to choose from. For some reason I liked the form of one without any leaves yet. I looked closely and you could see a bit of green on what looked like growth spurs. He checked the bottom and said a rootball had formed. I said, I am sure there is still a rootball in there even if it is not down to the bottom. I didn't notice his silence. So I bought it--5 gal. $18. When I went to plant it the stem slipped out clean as a whistle. Either there was not a root at all formed or they were so new they broke right off when I tried to get the plant out of the pot. So I thought, there was no rootball at all!( As there should have been if it had been transplanted from a 1 gal. pot) Hmmmm....they must propagate them from a branch. Doubtfully, I planted it and hoped it would root again if it ever had. For weeks it looked like a dead stick and I decided that once I was sure it was dead I would go out and buy a leafy one so my husband wouldn't notice I had paid $18 for a stick. Three weeks later, about two days ago, I checked it and there were still small flecks of green on the spurs. So I left it but could not tell at all if anything was growing. Then, today I looked at it again and it is beginning to leaf out. Amazing! I was totally surprised. Yes, a week ago or so I gave it some vitamen B for rooting and didn't water it unless I was sure it was getting dry by checking with my moisture meter. And it has been HOT 85-95ºF here in 10b San Diego County CA.

So, it seems that these can actually be propagated with hardwood cuttings. The stem of mine is one to one and quarter inches in diameter, yes diameter not circumfrence.

Positive careyjane On May 2, 2005, careyjane from Rabat
Morocco wrote:

This tree has softish spongy wood and branches can fall and break quite easily in windy conditions. It has a very large spread and an umbrella like shape at maturity. It should be given space in order to be appreciated at its best.
Short snubby thorns can be found on the trunk and larger branches.
Spring time bright orange-red flowers are spectacular silouhetted against the spring-blue sky.

Neutral palmbob On Mar 20, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Massive roots on these trees, tear up nearby streets and walkways, so careful when you plant it. Commonly planted around So Cal.


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

Calabasas, California
Chula Vista, California
Fallbrook, California
Los Angeles, California
Miami, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Honolulu, Hawaii
Mililani, Hawaii
New Orleans, Louisiana
Brownsville, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Humble, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas

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