Coral tree
Flame tree
Fabaceae - Erythrina x sykesii

What does it look like?

A large, spreading, deciduous tree up to 12-18m tall.  The trunk and branches have light coloured bark and stout prickles 5-10mm long.  Leaves are bright green, and broad oval to heart-shaped, up to 20cm long.  Flowers occur in late winter, and are dark orange, 50-60mm long, and in clusters on the branch tips from August to October.

Naturalised in disturbed places.  Coral trees are found on cliffs, along roadsides and creeks, often in sites with moist soil and sites that have received mulched or dumped vegetation.

Why is it a problem?

Reproduces vegetatively from cuttings, dropped branches, dumped vegetation and mulch.  The wood is very weak and will easily break, leading to vegetative spread, including downstream movement along waterways.  It doesn’t produce seed (sterile hybrid).

Control Methods

Herbicide control

  • Bore and fill (all year round): make 1 hole every 150 mm around the trunk and fill or saturate each hole with 3g metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg; or 20ml Tordon BK.
  • Cut and squirt (all year round): make 1 cut every 100mm around the trunk and fill or saturate each cut with 2g metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg; or 15ml Tordon BK.
  • Frilling (all year round): ensure complete frill achieved and paint frills thoroughly with metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g /L) + penetrant; or Tordon BK (200ml/L).

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed. 

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