Tree to 10 m or more tall with a broad canopy. Leaves pinnate, with 4-6 pairs of opposite leaflets. Leaflets ovate to oblong, 2-4 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide; margin entire. Flowers in branched heads to about 12 cm long, petals red, to 1.5 cm long, occasionally reduced or absent. Stamens united at the base. Fruit pods 6-10 cm long, with a persistent rim.
The pale-flowered S. latifolia Jacq. is also sometimes grown.
VIC: Dookie (Agricultural College, now part of Melbourne University, about 5 m tall); Melbourne (Royal Bot. Gds, Central Lawn, Anderson St border).
Source: (2002). Caesalpiniaceae. 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.