Erythin is a shrub or small deciduous tree belonging to a genus that includes more than 100 species of trees originating in Central America.
This plant has an erect habit, very branched and can reach 4-5 m in height if the cultivation conditions are ideal; it has a smooth, thorny, gray-brown, dark bark; the branches are often tortuous and the crown is broad.
In summer, Erythrina crista galli produces spectacular inflorescences consisting of numerous coral red flowers; the flowers are followed by long blackish pods containing numerous red and black seeds.
This variety of sapling prefers sunny positions, but develops without problems even in partial shade, especially in the milder climate regions.
It does not fear the cold very much, although it is advisable that in winter it enjoys the greatest number of hours of sunshine possible; the youngest specimens must be protected in the cold months with protective sheets and mulching material, straw or dry leaves placed at the base, for at least 2-3 years after planting.
In the warm months the Erythrina crista galli needs weekly watering, increasing the amount of water in the hot periods of the year when it is easier there are periods of drought that can compromise the health of the plant.
In winter, stop watering completely.
In spring, the adult specimens can be satisfied with the water that comes from the rains, while the younger specimens or potted ones need more water.
From March to September it is very useful to supply the erythrin with fertilizer for flowering plants in good quantity, both in the form of mature manure to be planted at the foot of the plant in February, and as a slow release granular fertilizer.
Erythrina crista galli prefers fresh, well-drained soils, rich in organic matter. Erythin is however a rather rustic shrub and is able to adapt even in soils with different characteristics. During the cold season, when the temperatures are very cold it may be advisable to protect the base of the plant with mulching material, with dry leaves or straw, so as to prevent the erythin from being ruined by excessive frost.
The multiplication of Erythrina crista galli occurs by seed, using the seeds of the previous year in spring; it is often good to wet the seeds in warm water for a few hours before sowing them.
In spring or autumn you can also practice cuttings, which must be rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts. It is good to protect younger plants from climatic changes and especially during the coldest periods, at least for the first 2 or 3 years of life.
Erythrine - Erythrina crista galli: Pests and diseases
Erythin is a rather rustic plant and resistant to attacks from fungal infections and diseases caused by various parasites. Sometimes the aphids ruin the flowers and cover and sprout preventing their development. For this reason it can be useful during the spring period to carry out broad-spectrum insecticide treatments that help protect the plant and prevent the appearance of these parasites that can compromise their health.