• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Erythrina crista-galli

Christ's tears

AGM plants

AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

  • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
  • Available to buy
  • Of good constitution
  • Essentially stable in form & colour
  • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases
Christ's tears

© RHS

  • Other common names Christ's tears
    cockspur coral tree

    common coral tree
    cry-baby plant
    cry-baby tree

    see more
  • Family Papilionaceae

  • Genus Erythrina can be deciduous or evergreen subshrubs, shrubs or trees, often spiny, with trifoliate leaves and showy pea-like flowers which may be solitary, or in axillary or terminal racemes

  • Details E. crista-galli is a small deciduous tree with spiny branches and leathery leaves composed of 3 triangular leaflets, with racemes of deep scarlet, pea-like flowers 5cm in length in summer and autumn

  • Plant range S America

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H3

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Sand

    Sand

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 1.5-2.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 1-1.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow outdoors in moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Protect with thick mulch in winter. Grow under glass in loam-based potting compost in full light

Propagation Propagate by seed, softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Wall-side Borders Cottage & Informal Garden Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Prone to glasshouse red spider mite and mealybugs under glass

Diseases Generally disease free

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