Address

102 Dunmaglass Road
Glenferness, Midrand

Contact Details

Cell - 082 824 6715
Telkom - 011 465 8857

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8am - 4.30pm
Sat - Sun: 9am - 4.30pm

Erythrina zeheri

Ploughbreaker

Good luck charm for barren women, seeds used for necklaces.

Plant Type:

General Size: small

Flowering Time: summer

Flowering Colour: red

Specifications: birds | deciduous | frost resistant | insect eaters | sun | waterwise

Description

Occurs naturally on the Highveld. This is a strange plant as most of it is underground! It is a very low growing, deciduous tree. Shoots form every year from the underground stems and die down in winter. This plant has an enormous underground rootstock in which it stores food. It produces showy scarlet flowers forming upright inflorescences on long stalks over several weeks in summer. The fruit is a smooth black pod with a few orange-red seeds. The common name indicates the damage that the underground trunk does to a farmer’s plough. The name is derived from Greek erythros=red, referring to the red flowers. It is the larval host plant for the Giant Emperor and the Protea Emperor butterflies and 11 moth species. The seed pods are black and burst open to disperse the red seeds. The seeds are considered to be toxic but no deaths are recorded. The leaves are sometimes covered in bumps which are caused by psyllids which are insects that that live under the bumps. They cause no damage to the tree. They lose their leaves in winter and the new leaves in spring are enjoyed by many worms and caterpillars. Woodpeckers search the bark for wood boring insects.