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About 130, see text

SYNONYMS

* Chirocalyx Meisn. * Corallodendron Kuntze * Duchassaingia Walp. * Erythina (lapsus ) * Hypaphorus Hassk. * Micropteryx Walp. * Tetradapa Osbeck

Erythrina flabelliformis - MHNT
MHNT

ERYTHRINA /ˌɛrᵻˈθraɪnə/ is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae
Fabaceae
. It contains about 130 species , which are distributed in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They are trees , growing up to 30 m (98 ft) in height. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ερυθρóς (erythros), meaning "red," referring to the flower color of certain species.

Particularly in horticulture , the name CORAL TREE is used as a collective term for these plants. "FLAME TREE " is another vernacular name, but may refer to a number of unrelated plants as well. Many species of Erythrina
Erythrina
have bright red flowers, and this may be the origin of the common name. However, the growth of the branches can resemble the shape of sea coral rather than the color of Corallium rubrum specifically, and this is an alternative source for the name. Other popular names, usually local and particular to distinct species, liken the flowers' red hues to those of a male chicken 's wattles , and/or the flower shape to its leg spurs. Commonly seen Spanish names for any local species are BUCARé, FREJOLILLO or POROTILLO, and in Afrikaans
Afrikaans
some are called KAFFERBOOM. MULLUMURIKKU is a widespread name in Kerala
Kerala
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Description and ecology * 2 Use by humans

* 3 Selected species

* 3.1 Formerly placed here

* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

DESCRIPTION AND ECOLOGY

Asian pied starling
Asian pied starling
(Gracupica contra) feeding on Indian coral tree (E. variegata ) flowers in Kolkata
Kolkata
, India.

Not all species of Erythrina
Erythrina
have bright red flowers; the Wiliwili (E. sandwicensis) has extraordinary variation in its flower colour, with orange, yellow, salmon, green and white all being found within natural populations. This striking color polymorphism is also found in Erythrina lysistemon
Erythrina lysistemon
and Erythrina caffra .

All species except the sterile hybrids E. × sykesii and E. × bidwillii have legume -type fruit, sometimes called pods, containing one or more seeds. The resilient buoyant seeds are often carried by the sea for large distances and are commonly called "sea beans ".

Erythrina
Erythrina
leaves are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
species including the swift moth Endoclita damor and the woolly bears Hypercompe eridanus and Hypercompe icasia . The mite Tydeus munsteri is a pest on the coastal coral tree (E. caffra ).

Many birds visit the nectar -rich Erythrina
Erythrina
flowers. In the Neotropics , these are usually larger hummingbirds , for example the swallow-tailed hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura) and the black-throated (Anthracothorax nigricollis) and green-breasted mangos (A. prevostii) – though they seem not to be especially fond of E. speciosa at least, which they visit rather opportunistically. In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
, the black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) which usually does not eat nectar in quantity has been observed feeding on E. suberosa flowers, and mynas and of course more specialized nectar feeders also utilize coral tree flowers. Lorikeets such as the collared lory (Phigys solitarius) and the possibly extinct New Caledonian lorikeet (Charmosyna diadema) are known to consume (or have consumed) large amounts of Erythrina
Erythrina
nectar.

USE BY HUMANS

Some coral trees are used widely in the tropics and subtropics as street and park trees, especially in drier areas. In some places, such as Venezuela
Venezuela
, bucarés are used as shade trees for coffee or cocoa crops. In the Bengal
Bengal
region, they are used for the same purpose in Schumannianthus dichotoma plantations. E. lanceolata in particular is considered highly suitable as "frame" tree for vanilla vines to grow up on.

The conspicuous, even dramatic coral trees are widely used as floral emblems . cockspur coral tree (E. crista-galli ) is the national flower of Argentina
Argentina
and Uruguay
Uruguay
. The coastal coral tree (E. caffra ) is the official city tree of Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, California
California
, where it is referred to simply as the "coral tree". The state trees of Mérida and Trujillo in Venezuela
Venezuela
are bucaré ceibo (E. poeppigiana ) and purple coral tree (bucaré anauco, E. fusca ), respectively. Yonabaru, Okinawa as well as the Okinawa Prefecture and Pathum Thani Province have the Indian coral tree (E. variegata ) as floral emblems. Known as thong lang in Thailand
Thailand
, the latter species is also one of the thong ("trees") referred to in the name of Amphoe Chom Thong, Chiang Mai Province . In a similar vein, Zumpahuacán in Mexico
Mexico
derives its name from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
tzompahuacá, "place of the Erythrina americana ". In Vietnam
Vietnam
, people use the leaves of E. variegata to wrap nem (a kind of fermented pork).

In Hinduism
Hinduism
, the mandara tree in Indra
Indra
's garden in Svarga
Svarga
is held to be E. stricta . The same motif is found in Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
, where the man da ra ba growing in Sukhavati is identified as an Indian coral tree (E. variegata). The concept of the Five Trees of Paradise
Paradise
is also found in Christian Gnosticism
Gnosticism
. Though as none of the trees is identified as an Erythrina
Erythrina
here, the concept might not be as directly related to the Asian religions as some presume. Erythravine is tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloid from Erythrina mulungu , studied for possible anxiolytic properties.

The seeds of at least one-third of the species contain potent erythrina alkaloids , and some of these are used for medicinal and other purposes by indigenous peoples. They are all toxic to some degree, however, and the seeds of some can cause fatal poisoning. The chemical compounds found in plants in this genus include alkaloids such as scoulerine , erysodin , erysovin (namely in E. flabelliformis ), and the putative anxiolytic erythravine (isolated from Mulungu , E. mulungu).

Except for ornamental purposes, growing, selling or possessing Erythrina
Erythrina
is prohibited by Louisiana State Act 159 (where the genus is misspelled Erythina).

SELECTED SPECIES

Erythrina abyssinica in flower, Funchal
Funchal
(Madeira) Erythrina speciosa inflorescences , Brazil
Brazil
Erythrina
Erythrina
zeyheri leaflets Erythrina
Erythrina
×sykesii in flower, Auckland
Auckland
, New Zealand Bark
Bark
of Erythrina
Erythrina
species 'Croftby', Australia
Australia

* Erythrina abyssinica Lam. ex DC. ( East Africa
East Africa
) * Erythrina americana Mill. – Colorín, Tzompāmitl ( Mexico
Mexico
) * Erythrina ankaranensis Du Puy & Labat ( Madagascar
Madagascar
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
atitlanensis Krukoff & Barneby * Erythrina
Erythrina
berteroana Urb. * Erythrina burana Chiov. ( Ethiopia
Ethiopia
) * Erythrina caffra Thunb. – Coastal coral tree (Southeastern Africa) * Erythrina
Erythrina
corallodendron L. ( Hispaniola
Hispaniola
, Jamaica
Jamaica
) * Erythrina coralloides D.C. – Flame coral tree, naked coral tree ( Arizona
Arizona
in the United States
United States
, Mexico
Mexico
) * Erythrina crista-galli L. – Cockspur coral tree, ceibo, seíbo, bucaré ( Argentina
Argentina
, Uruguay
Uruguay
, Brazil
Brazil
, Paraguay
Paraguay
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
decora Harms * Erythrina edulis Micheli – Basul ( Andes
Andes
) * Erythrina eggersii Krukoff & Moldenke – Cock's-spur, espuela de gallo, piñón espinoso ( United States
United States
Virgin Islands , Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
) * Erythrina elenae Howard & Briggs ( Cuba
Cuba
) * Erythrina euodiphylla Hassk. ex Backh. ( Indonesia
Indonesia
) * Erythrina falcata Benth. – Brazilian coral tree (Brazil) * Erythrina flabelliformis Kearney * Erythrina fusca Lour. – Purple coral tree, bois immortelle, bucaré anauco, bucayo, gallito ( Pantropical ) * Erythrina haerdii Verdc. ( Tanzania
Tanzania
) * Erythrina hazomboay Du Puy & Labat ( Madagascar
Madagascar
) * Erythrina herbacea
Erythrina herbacea
L. – Coral
Coral
bean, Cherokee bean, red cardinal, cardinal spear (Southeastern United States
United States
, Northeastern Mexico
Mexico
) * Erythrina humeana Spreng. – Natal coral tree, dwarf coral tree, dwarf kaffirboom, dwarf erythrina (South Africa) * Erythrina
Erythrina
lanceolata Standl. * Erythrina latissima E.Mey. * Erythrina lysistemon
Erythrina lysistemon
Hutch. – Common coral tree, Transvaal kaffirboom, lucky bean tree ( South Africa
South Africa
) * Erythrina madagascariensis Du Puy & Labat ( Madagascar
Madagascar
) * Erythrina megistophylla ( Ecuador
Ecuador
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
mexicana ( Mexico
Mexico
) * Erythrina mulungu Diels Mart. – Mulungu (Brazil) * Erythrina perrieri
Erythrina perrieri
R.Viguier (Madagascar) * Erythrina
Erythrina
poeppigiana (Walp. ) O.F.Cook – bucare ceibo * Erythrina polychaeta Harms ( Ecuador
Ecuador
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
rubrinervia Kunth * Erythrina sacleuxii Hua ( Kenya
Kenya
, Tanzania) * Erythrina
Erythrina
sandwicensis O.Deg. – Wiliwili ( Hawaii
Hawaii
) * Erythrina schimpffii Diels ( Ecuador
Ecuador
) * Erythrina schliebenii Harms – Lake Latumba Erythrina
Erythrina
(Thought to be extinct since 1938, but some individuals, believed to be less than fifty, were recently rediscovered in forest remnants on rocky sites in coastal Tanzania
Tanzania
(reported in the UK Guardian newspaper 23 March 2012, from a report in the Journal of East African Natural History.) * Erythrina
Erythrina
senegalensis DC. * Erythrina speciosa Andrews ( Brazil
Brazil
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
stricta Roxb. – Mandara ( Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
suberosa Roxb. * Erythrina tahitensis Nadeaud ( Tahiti
Tahiti
) * Erythrina
Erythrina
tholloniana * Erythrina tuxtlana Krukoff & Barneby (Mexico) * Erythrina variegata L. – Indian coral tree, tiger's claw, sunshine tree, roluos tree (Cambodia), deigo (Okinawa), drala (Fiji), madar (Bangladesh), man da ra ba (Tibet), thong lang (Thailand), vông nem (Vietnam) * Erythrina velutina Willd. ( Caribbean
Caribbean
, South America
South America
, Galápagos Islands ) * Erythrina vespertilio Benth. – Bat's wing coral tree, grey corkwood, "bean tree" ( Australia
Australia
) * Erythrina zeyheri Harv. – Ploughbreaker

HORTICULTURAL HYBRIDS :

* Erythrina ×bidwillii Lindl. * Erythrina
Erythrina
×sykesii Barneby ">

* ^ " Erythrina
Erythrina
L.". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-10-24. * ^ "Genus: Erythrina
Erythrina
L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States
United States
Department of Agriculture. 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2010-01-28. * ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607 * ^ Gledhill, D. (2008). The Names of Plants (4 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-521-86645-3 . * ^ Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Development, Commission on International Relations, National Research Council (1979). Tropical Legumes: Resources for the Future. National Academy of Sciences. p. 258. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link ) * ^ "Zompantle o colorín ( Erythrina americana Miller)". Tratado de Medicina Tradicional Mexicana Tomo II: Bases Teóricas, Clínica Y Terapéutica. Tlahui (20). 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-24. * ^ Karttunen, Frances (1992). An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-0-8061-2421-6 . * ^ "GRIN Species
Species
Records of Erythrina". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States
United States
Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-10-15.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* List of species of Erythrina
Erythrina
from LegumeWeb * Photo gallery