The genus Erythrina contains over a hundred species in different regions of the world. Six of these are indigenous to South Africa and two of them are common in the part of the Eastern Cape where I live. During our recent trip to the Western Cape and back, I was struck by the number of Erythrinas that are still in bloom. The smaller Erythrina lysistemon is probably the most widespread and was commonly seen at various places along our journey. This tree is growing next to the N1 just outside of Grahamstown:

These trees flower prolifically during the winter and early spring and brighten up the countryside:

The scarlet flowers are very eye-catching with their relatively long petals that enclose the stamens:

Growing next to this was an example of the other fairly common species, the Erythrina caffra. Its flowers are more open and have an orange hue. Note the backward curving petals and exposed stamens:

Three of these trees grow in my back garden, their pretty blossoms also appearing during winter and into the spring:

The flowers of both these trees attract a variety of insects and birds, providing much-needed sustenance during these ‘lean’ seasons of the year.


34 thoughts on “TWO ERYTHRINAS

  1. great colours



  2. My colour-blindness makes it impossible for me to enjoy the show of the red flowers from a distance. It often confounds my companions when they point out the trees in bloom as we drive or walk past and I just can’t see it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.