The classification used by Ehret inscribed beneath the plant was provided by Tournefort. The erythrina is a native plant of the West Indies and southern United States of America, it was first introduced into Great Britain in 1690. Grown in the tropics as hedging, often providing avenues of trees in the streets, it is also planted as shade-trees for coffee. All species of erythrina contain alkaloids that have a powerful narcotic and purgative effect and are used in natural medicine.
One of the two earliest known watercolours by Ehret outside the Widmann album in the collection of Lord Derby, Knowsley, is of a corallodendron and dated 1732. This is now in the Natural History Museum, London.