Alberta magna, the Natal flame bush or magnificent flame, in Afrikaans breekhout (break wood), is a medium-sized tree reaching heights to 13 m (SA Tree List No. 701). The bark is pale grey and smooth, still green on young branches, rough on old trunks. The wood is brittle and not much used, hence the breekhout name.
The species distribution is in KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern part of the Eastern Cape.
The habitat is forest margins and moist, evergreen bush. It is often found in upper parts of rocky kloofs and near rivers, at elevations from sea level to 1300 m. The species is considered to be near threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century, due to too frequent grassland fires near the scarp forest fringes, the main part of its range.
The tree, popular for its spectacular flowers and dark green foliage. It may be grown near the coast in places where winters are mild and water is not scarce. The bark is or has been used medicinally.
Most members of the Alberta genus are found on Madagascar, only this species is South African (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; Pooley, 1993; Rhino Club Newsletter; http://redlist.sanbi.org).