coral tree Fabaceae Erythrina
Leaf: Alternate, tri-foliate compound, 5 to 8 inches long, each leaflet nearly heart-shaped (2 to 3 inches long and wide), margins entire, petiole has hooked prickles, green above and below.
Flower: Attractive, deep red, in long, dense, terminal clusters up to 10 inches; each flower is tubular, 1 to 2 inches long, appearing in late spring and continuing to the fall.
Fruit: Sterile hybrid so no fruit is generally formed. Other members of the genus produce a long, leathery twisted, contorted pod.
Twig: Moderately stout, light brown, strong, conspicuous hooked prickles (resemble a cat claw), lighter raised lenticels; buds small sitting above shallow U-shaped leaf scar.
Bark: Smooth light brown, developing shallow fissures with darker brown ridges giving the bark a striped pattern.
Form: A small tree or shrub reaching up to 25 feet tall.