Coral tree (Erythrina lysistemon)

Coral trees (Erythrina lysistemon) have  a colourful mass of red flowers. The flowers look even more spectacular on the bare branches of the deciduous trees. The dazzling flowers make it one of the best known and widely grown trees in South Africa. Coral Tree1

Erythrina lysistemon is not just a decorative tree, it is also an important component of the ecosystem, providing food and shelter for a variety of animals, birds and insects.Coral Tree1

Vervet monkeys eat the flower buds. Kudu, klipspringer, black rhino and baboons graze on the leaves. Black rhinos, elephants and baboons eat the bark and bush pigs eat the roots.Coral Tree2

The flowers produce abundant nectar that attracts many nectar-feeding birds and insects, which attract the insect-feeding birds as well. Birds such as barbets and woodpeckers nest in the trunks of dead trees, and swarms of bees often inhabit hollow trunks.

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