Book of Mediterranean Trees, Shrubs and Climbers
Erythrina crista-galli Coral Tree
Erythrina crista-galli, often known as the cockspur coral tree, is a flowering
tree in the family Fabaceae, native to Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil and Paraguay.
It is widely planted as a street or garden tree in other countries, notably in
California. It is known by several common names within South America: ceibo, seíbo
(Spanish), corticeira (Portuguese) and the more ambiguous bucaré, to name a few. Its
specific epithet crista-galli means "cock's comb" in Latin. The ceibo is the national
tree of Argentina, and its flower the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay. This
species characteristically grows wild in gallery forest ecosystems along watercourses,
as well as in swamps and wetlands. In urban settings, it is often planted in parks for
its bright red flowers.