This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Trees or shrubs, branches often thick and beset with prickles. Leaves pinnately trifoliolate. Flowers showy, usually bright scarlet, in terminal racemes. Standard petal larger and longer than the wings and keel. Calyx spathaceous, truncate, rarely almost equally 5-toothed. Pod stalked. About twenty-five species are distributed over the warmer regions. The name is from red, the prevalent colour of the flowers. None of the Coral trees are hardy, but some of them will succeed in sheltered places if treated as herbaceous, and cut down each season.
Fig. 75. Erythrina Crista-galli. (1/4 nat. size.)
6 or 8 feet high. The flowers are deep scarlet, and the leaves have a glaucous tinge. A native of Brazil.
E. laurifolia is a variety of the foregoing, easily distinguished by its less robust habit, smaller bright green leaves, and brighter scarlet flowers.