Erythrina x bidwillii - Lindl.
Common Name
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards The plant contains alkaloids that have powerful narcotic and purgative effects[200].
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range A garden hybrid, E. crista-galli x E. herbacea.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Erythrina x bidwillii
Erythrina x bidwillii
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Erythrina x bidwillii is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft) by 2.5 m (8ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Narcotic;  Purgative.

The plant is narcotic and purgative[200].


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Requires a moderately fertile well-drained soil in a very sunny position[200]. Best if given the protection of an east, south or south-west facing wall[200]. Plants are not very hardy outdoors in Britain though the rootstock can tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c provided the stem bases are thickly mulched with organic matter such as leaf litter or sawdust and covered with bracken[200]. The top growth will be killed by the frost but new growth from the rootstock will flower in late summer[200]. Plants take 3 - 4 years to flower from seed[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Heeled cuttings of young growth in the spring in a frame[200]. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Erythrina acanthocarpa 01
Erythrina crista-galliCoral Tree, Crybabytree01
Erythrina fuscaCoral Bean, Swamp Immortelle22
Erythrina herbaceaCardinal Spear, Redcardinal11
Erythrina humeanaDwarf Kaffirboom, Dwarf erythrina01
Erythrina vernaMulungu04
Erythrina zeyheriPrickly Cardinal01


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
Colin Mills   Mon Mar 3 2008
Erythrina x bidwillii is a sterile hybrid produced at Camden Park, New South Wales, Australia, in the early 1840s by William Macarthur. It certainly cannot be propagated from seed. Its original name was Erythrina Camdeni, or the 'Camden Coral Tree' so called by William Macarthur. Where 'Indian Coral Tree' came from I have no idea. It was named after John Bidwill, by John Lindley, after an initial description by Bidwill's friend William Herbert, simply because he, Bidwill, first took it to England in 1843. He had no other association with its breeding. People who claim to have propagated it from seed either do not have Erythrina x bidwillii or are simply repeating incorrect information without testing it themselves, unfortunately far too common on the internet. E. x bidwillii's 'sibling', E. x blakei, grown from the same F1 cross, still grows in the gardens at Camden Park. This was named by Macarthur after his convict gardener Edmund Blake, who was probably responsible for making the cross, which, incidentaly was the first hybrid to be produced anywhere in the world between woody leguminous plants. E. bidwillii tends to follow its E. crista-galli parent in forming a small tree, while 'Blakei' follows the E. herbacea parent in being a low-growing shrub, dying back to a rootstock each year.
Colin Mills   Fri Apr 4 2008
Propagation information for Erythrina x bidwillii is nonsense. The method given has either not been tried by the writer or is for a plant other that bidwillii. E. x bidwillii was bred by William Macarthur of Camden Park, NSW, Australia in the early 1840s and called by called by him Erythrina Camdeni. John Bidwill took the plant to England in 1843 and gave it to William Herbert who assumed that Bidwill had bred it, hence the name. It is a totally sterile hybrid that can be raised from cuttings, with difficulty. It is probably best propagated by grafting onto seedlings of E. crista-galli, one of its parents.
   Mar 7 2017 12:00AM
Propagation from cuttings is easy. The "secret" is to use large (1"-3" in diameter, 18'-24' in length), woody but still green-barked, cuttings. Plant with approximately 2/3 of the cutting length in the soil. I recently obtained 5 large cuttings from Mrs. Irene Moon of Madera, California. I was taken aback at their size. She told me that large cuttings (and planting depth) were the secret to success. All five of my cuttings, which were just planted several weeks ago, have swelling buds. I planted one in the garden and the others in pots. Mrs. Moon also said that they don't like to be transplanted, but I don't have any experience with that yet.
   Jun 2 2017 12:00AM
Propagation is easy from large (1.5"-2" diameter) semi-hardwood (green barked) cuttings. Cuttings should be 12" or more in length and planted with approximately 2/3 of their length in the soil. I have had 100% success with this method. Young plants resent being moved, and may die if transplanted too soon.
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Subject : Erythrina x bidwillii  

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