Erythrina vespertilio Fabaceae

Bat’s Wing Coral Tree, Bean Tree

Form and Size: A small, straggly tree, 6-10m high, with thorns on trunk and branches; deciduous

Distribution: All mainland states except Vic; widespread from arid areas to rainforest margins

Leaves: Bifoliolate or trifoliolate, 10-15cm long; leaflets broadly wedge-shaped or 3-lobed, resembling a bat’s open wings,
7- 12cm x 5-12cm; terminal leaflet if present is usually longer and narrower than the others

Bark: Grey, furrowed, corky

Flowers: Pea-flowers, scarlet to orange-red, 3-4cm long; borne in terminal racemes 5-25cm long

Flowering Period: August to November

Fruit: Pods, 6-l2cm x 1.5-1.8cm, constricted between the seeds; seeds 2-8, orange or yellow, about 1.2cm long

Cultivation/Notes: Propagate from scarified seed or cuttings. Young trees may be transplanted while leafless. Flowering usually takes place before new leaves appear. May be grown in a wide range of soils as long as drainage is good, and it is in an open, sunny position. A very hardy plant when established.