Baby Coral Trees on the Wild Coast

A few months ago, we made a trip to Dwesa Cwebe Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape. It is quite a drive and the roads are pretty bad  – you need a vehicle with high suspension. But once you get there, the dense coastal forests, natural lagoons and beach are pretty much all yours. Well, that was our experience at any rate but I suppose we were out of season. We went on a great hike along the coast with one of the very knowledgeable local guides. We came across a baby coral tree, something I hadn’t seen before. Is this Erythrina caffra but just a baby version? Why is it dwarfed like this?

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5 Responses to Baby Coral Trees on the Wild Coast

  1. Margaret Burger October 16, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    The ‘baby Coral trees’ in the picture are the indigenous Erythrina zeyhri or ‘ploegbreker’ due to the major part of the plant being underground! Your photograph is absolutely awesome – so nice to know there are such great pristine place. have a look at the following link for more information. http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantefg/erythrinzey.htm

    Margaret Burger

  2. Laurian October 16, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    This is a lovely shrub species, Erythrina humeana, which grows to only two or three metres

  3. Lorraine October 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Yes, definitely E. humeana. I had a ploegbreker in my Johannesburg garden and the leaves were the size of dinner plates, with fierce prickles on both sides of the leaves.

  4. Margaret Burger October 17, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Interestingly the Zulu name for Erythrina zeyhri and humeana is umsinsana or small msinsi. Only humeana has a Xhosa name, umsintsane or utambuki. I looked at the leaves more closely and can see a few prickles and in comparison the leaves are smaller (on humeana) but I just judged from the grasslands – agreed that it is humeana looking at the leaves in ‘Pooley’s Wildflowers’ for zeyhri. Humeana is more widely distributed, looking at the map it does ocur on the east coast as well… so will agree that it looks more like humeana than zeyhri! Thanks Lorraine and Laurian!

  5. mol-d October 21, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    hi,

    thanks for the all info! 😀

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