This spiky-flowered member of the pea family can be found in the Palm House.
A native of Mexico, Erythrina americana is one of over 100 species of deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs and woody perennials. Most have spines on the stems and leaves, and occur in woodland and open slopes of tropical regions around the world. In Mexico this species is used as a nursery crop to protect cocoa and coffee plants, and also as a living fence whose spines ward off predators. Reaching 5m in height the pink-red, hummingbird-pollinated flowers of this species earn it the common name American coral tree.