Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Erythrina humeana Spreng.

Frost-tender, small, prickly tree with scarlet-red flowers in slender, terminal, nodding racemes, to 50cm long.  To 4m.  [RHSD].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘We regret exceedingly that an overwhelming malady prevented the taking a detailed account of this fine and rare plant; introduced into this country by Sir Abraham Hume, in whose collection at Wormleybury the drawing was made.  From the wonted liberality and attention of the possessor we were supplied with ample specimens of the plant, and every facility was given for a sufficient account of the species; but in vain; we were bound powerless to the bed of sickness, and could not avail ourselves of the proffered kindness.

We find no record of the species except in the short phrase of Thunberg’s Prodromus, and must refer to the drawing instead of description.  It seems to differ from the mass of the congeners by producing leaves and flowers at the same time; and is manifestly the finest yet known.  One plate shows the blossom of the natural size; another the whole plant diminished.’  [BR f.736/1834].  See also Erythrina caffra Thunb.  In this entry mention is made of the Wormleybury plant being of the same species as that figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine [BM t.2431/1823].  It seems likely that this plant is Erythrina caffra Thunb. while that figured in the Botanical Register under this name is Erythrina humeana Spreng.

History at Camden Park

Only listed in the 1845 and 1850 catalogues.


Published Dec 18, 2009 - 05:19 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 11:56 AM

Figured is the whole plant, prickly, with trifoliate leaves and upright racemes of red flowers.  Botanical Register f.736, 1834.

Erythrina humeana Spreng. | BR f.736/1834 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa



Common Name

Dwarf kaffirboom, Dwarf coral tree, Natal coral tree

Name in the Camden Park Record

Erythrina humeana 

Confidence level high