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habit in early spring (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
base of trunks (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of bark on main trunk (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
younger leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
leaf with three broad leaflets (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
flower clusters (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
scarlet red flowers (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
close-up of flowers showing ten stamens (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
showy coral tree (Erythrina speciosa), a similar species with more elongated flower clusters (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
South African coral tree (Erythrina caffra), a similar species with reddish-orange flower clusters (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
coral tree (Erythrina lysistemon), is one of the parents of common coral tree (Erythrina x sykesii). It is very similar, but unlike the hybrid it develops fruit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
bat's wing coral tree (Erythrina vespertilio) is a similar native species with very spiny stems and lobed leaflets (Photo: Sheldon Navie)
Erythrina x sykesii Barneby & Krukoff
Erythrina sykesii Barneby & KrukoffErythrina coralloides DC. x Erythrina lysistemon Hutch.
Fabaceae (Queensland, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory)Fabaceae: sub-family Faboideae (New South Wales)Leguminosae (South Australia)Papilionaceae (Western Australia)
Australian coral tree, common coral tree, coral tree, coraltree, hybrid coral tree, Indian coral tree, Sykes' coral tree, thorny coral tree
A hybrid of horticultural origin, that was probably developed in Australia or New Zealand.
Occasionally naturalised in the coastal districts of southern and eastern Australia. It has been recorded from the coastal districts of New South Wales, near Perth in south-western Western Australia, in south-eastern and northern Queensland, and on Lord Howe Island.
Common coral tree (Erythrina x sykesii) is regarded as an environmental weed in many parts of New South Wales. It appears on numerous local and regional weed lists in this state (e.g. in the wider Sydney and Blue Mountains region and in the North Coast and South Coast regions) and is currently listed as a priority environmental weed in at least one Natural Resource Management region.
This species does not produce viable seed and only propagates vegetatively, via stem segments and suckers. Logs, branches and even twigs will grow into new plants and they break easily, thereby aiding its spread during floods. Common coral tree (Erythrina x sykesii) has spread from garden and street plantings into bushland areas, often aided by the dumping of garden waste. It is primarily a problem along creeks and rivers, but will also grow in disturbed natural vegetation and open woodlands.
In New South Wales it has been reported to replace native riparian vegetation, block the flow of creeks, increase creek bank erosion, and cause other trees to fall over. It has also been recorded from conservation areas, including Eurobodalla National Park and Murramarang National Park in the South Coast region. In south-western Western Australia it is reported to grow along river edges between Perth and Bunbury.