Shrub to small tree. Leaflets 5-10 cm long, generally ovate-elliptic as in e. cristagalli and occasionally with a single prickle. Flowers to 5 cm long, in characteristic long, deep blood red clusters; standards about 4-5 cm long, relatively narrow, about 1-1.5 cm wide. Sepals in a bell-shaped slightly split tube, mostly as long as or slightly longer than wide. Stamens with upper half protruding from the keels in mature flowers. Syn. E. × blakei hort.
Leaflets ovate-elliptic, flowers deep blood red.
NSW: VIC: Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, 6 plants, one in the Hopetoun Border); Portland (Bot. Gds); Sydney (Centennial Park, several specimens).
Source: (2002). Fabaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
The origin of this hybrid, c. 1840, is attributed to John Carne Bidwill, Government Botanist and first Director of the Royal Bot. Gds, Sydney (1847-8), as a cross between e. herbacea (female) and e. crista-galli (male). However, one of his friends may have been responsible. Specimens were sent to William Herbert of Manchester, England, in the 1840s and it was later widely distributed by the famous Veitch Nsy in London. It is described in the monograph on Erythrina as, 'the best known and biologically most successful hybrid erythrina,' which adds, 'it seems likely that not all the races grown today under the name are descendants of the original cross'. There is some variation in the size of flowers and the intensity of their colouration and it is evidently more popular in cultivation outside Australia. Plants selected from the original cross and listed in the Camden Park (nsw) catalogue of 1845 (as e. camdeni) are perhaps best known as the clone 'Camdenensis', because a second seedling of the same cross was later selected and named after Camden Park gardener, Edmund Blake, and listed in the 1850 Camden catalogue as e. 'Blakii'. The former selection has not been clearly identified and the latter selection, under the Cultivated Plant Code, is best referred to as e. _bidwillii 'Blakei'. E. _blakei is a name of no botanical standing. Literature Clough (1992).