Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Coral Tree, Erythrina variegata var. indica

Erythrina variegata var. indica
 Coral Tree
The Coral trees are spectacular at the moment, painting the landscape a vivid scarlet. If you are driving anywhere along the coast or if driving to Sydney via Mt. Ousley road, you realize what big trees they grow into, with a vast canopy. They have fallen out of favour somewhat because of their habit of shedding limbs and growing a new tree from any branch which falls to the ground. This ability to take root from large branches has led to their name of "quick stick". Erythrinas occur naturally over a number of countries and climates and are found in Madagascar,Tanzania, India, Southeast Asia and Australia. New growth is often thorny and persistent thorns often remain on trees trunks, perhaps another reason for their fall from grace.The painter Brett Whitely often included the tiger claw like flowers in his Sydney harbour paintings usually depicting them with an attendant honey eating bird.

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