Batwing Coral Tree responds to water

On my recent visit to Jourama Falls I saw this flower on the ground beside the path.

Batwing Coral tree flower
A single flower beside the path …

It had fallen from a straggly, nearly-bare tree nearby, as I realised when I looked up and saw a few more flowers.

Batwing Coral tree flowers
… a few flowers on bare twigs …

It was a Batwing Coral Tree, Erythrina vespertilio, flowering on bare branches as many dry-tropics trees do. I’ve written about this species before, and about others such as the Kapok (local), Poinciana and Tabebuia (exotics), but I wanted to demonstrate the difference which water makes.

Here’s a shot of the tree at Jourama next to one of the same species in suburban Mundingburra which has always been regularly watered (using bore water which is, in any case, only a couple of metres underground).

Their heights are comparable – perhaps six metres at Jourama, eight in Mundingburra – but the one which has had plenty of water is far more robust. Also, both photos were taken in the last fortnight yet the well-watered tree is in almost full foliage while the other is still almost bare.

Tabebuias on our nature strips are now transitioning from full bloom to full leaf. I wonder what they would be doing without the water they are getting?


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