I've posted about these trees before. They look like they came right out of a Dr Seuss book (or maybe the greenhouse at Hogwarts). They bloom with brilliant spiky flowers before there is any hit of a leaf (I consider myself to have some knowledge of plants and how they work--I do have a Master's Degree in Plant Science--and this boggles the mind. How can they bloom before they have made leaves. I always worry that they'll run out of energy and die before they've made their leaves and can get food) and since moving to CA they have been a small obsession of mine.
When they do finally get leaves they come in "pom pom" style with large bushy bunches on the end of each branch. I love them.
The sad news is that googling "weird red blossom tree California" or "red spiky flower tree california" doesn't get you anywhere. I had no idea what they were until a chance meeting with a very knowledgeable tram rider at the Wild Animal Park.
South African Coral Tree.
And some day when we have a yard, there will be one there.