Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Naked Coral Tree
Erythrina coralloides

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erythrina (er-ith-RY-nuh) (Info)
Species: coralloides (kor-al-OY-dees) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

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

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
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:
Mid Spring


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

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive AridTropics On Jan 4, 2013, AridTropics from Bradenton , FL wrote:

Glad to have this great species in my collection. Love the fact that, besides the increadible spring flowers, E.coralloides also provides nice, tropical-looking foliage through the summer, and vivid yellow foliage before they are shed for the winter. (Leaves are almost as bright as Ginko)

Greenish orange to yellow orangish colored bark, even on my young specimen, adds to the attractiveness of this tree. Yes, like all species of Erythrina, coralloides does have thorns, doesn't detract from it's overall beauty however.

While a rare sight anywhere north or Santa Barbra, E. coralloides possesses enough cold hardiness and should be trialed more here in San Jose, as well as the warmer spots of the East Bay (away from the bay)

My only caution is that you may loose a given years flower display if the flower buds are frozen off during an especially cold winter. Regardless, even a moderately damaged specimen should repair itself in the spring, especially if conditions are warm early on.

Given a warm southern or western exposure in the garden, situated in soil which will drain off excess winter rainfall well, this spectacular tree should provide years of enjoyment, and lots of attention. E. coralloides also makes a great focal point in a succulent-theamed garden. Hoping my own specimen puts on some flowers come spring.

Positive swamptreenelly On Jul 14, 2006, swamptreenelly from Newark, CA wrote:

Erythrina coralloides is growing in Fremont, Ca. and was planted 2 years ago. This tree has had no additional water this year. It is growing with great vigor, but has not bloomed yet.

Positive RWhiz On Sep 12, 2005, RWhiz from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

There is also a variant of this tree called Erythrina coralloides 'bicolor'. It has both red and white blooms on the same plant. Some bloom spikes are all red, some are all white, and some are red & white. Quite spectacular.

Positive martina On Apr 26, 2004, martina from El Cajon, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I consider this tree one of the nicest trees in the world.
I love it - it is like having three or four spectacular trees at a single spot:
April/May - Most fascinating - fantastic coral red flowers are stunning on an otherwise naked tree (still leafless in April)
Summer - Tree covered with lush large bright green leaves
Fall - Interesteing change to yellow fall leaves
Winter - Tree is quite naked and shows its dramatic yellowish brown trunk and branches. You can help to form its dramatic shape by pruning at this sime.
Just be careful, branches have sharp hooks/spikes.

Ours grows in Zone 9/10, our soil is alkaline but it is possible that our backyard has received a load of neutral garden soil when the house was originally built.

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

lower growing tree with pine-cone shaped bright red flowers . Though sparsely spread along branches, this tree has nasty hooked spines that will rip your flesh off when you walk by it. Trunk is made or extremely hard wood and also has knobby, sparse spines.

One of the few native Coral Trees to the US, this one occurs in the deserts of southern Arizona... though it is primarily found in Mexico.


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

Capistrano Beach, California
El Cajon, California
Fremont, California
Los Angeles, California
Newark, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Santa Maria, California
Spring Valley, California
Bartow, Florida

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