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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?

5 replies on “Baby Coral Trees on the Wild Coast”

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.

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!

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