Corallodendron arborescens (Roxb.) Kuntze
Duchassaingia arborescens Walp.
Erythrina moori Tod.
Erythrina tienensis Wang & T.Tang
Erythrina arborescens is a tree with a prickly trunk and branches; it can grow around 6 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials. It is grown as a hedge and is also grown as an ornamental[
All Erythrina species contain greater or lesser amounts of toxic alkaloids - these can be found in all parts of the plant but are usually most concentrated in the seeds. Concentrations vary from species to species, in some it is low enough that the plant is safely used as a food. In many, the alkaloids are utilized for their medicinal effects. We have no specific information on the concentration of the alkaloids in this species, but care should be exercised in any use of the plant that involves ingestion. These alkaloids have a curare-like action (obtained from Strychnos species) and can cause paralysis and even death by respiratory failure[
E. Asia - China (Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Xinjiang Hainan), India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar
Open places, generally around villages, at elevations from 1,500 - 3,000 metres[
]. Mountain valleys, grassy slopes; at elevations from 400 - 2,100 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Erythrina arborescens is native from the warm temperate to the tropical zones of southern China , being found at elevations up to 3,000 metres in the Himalayas of Nepal. As such, the plant should experience moderate frosts and so should be able to be cultivated in warmer parts of the temperate zone.
Erythrina species are tolerant of a range of soils, often tolerating poor fertility, but generally grow best in a sunny position in a moderately fertile, well-drained soil[
All species in this genus are believed to be self-compatible. Their flowers are adapted to pollination by birds, though various insects can also cause fertilization. The various species of Erythrina can all, as far as is known, be intercrossed to produce fertile hybrids. Those species most closely related to each other cross fairly readily, but even species that are quite distant can hybridize[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
A decoction of the bark is taken internally as an anthelmintic[
The juice of the bark is applied topically to treat boils[
The plant is grown as a hedge[
]. It is grown at the edges of cultivated, terraced fields in order to bind the soil and prevent landslides[
Most Erythrina species are very easy to grow from cuttings, with even quite large branches striking well. In addition, they generally fix atmospheric nitrogen, have nutrient-rich leaves that make an excellent soil-enriching mulch, often have open crowns that do not overly restrict light, and are also often quite thorny and can provide impenetrable barriers to protect from unwelcome intrusions. Many species are therefore used as living fences to provide boundaries and livestock-proof hedges[
The wood is soft, light and fairly durable. It is used for various purposes, such as making sieve frames, flooring[
Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
Cuttings - even quite large branches root easily in the open ground[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.