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Useful Tropical Plants

Erythrina brucei

Schweinf.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Erythrina brucei is a prickly tree with a spreading crown; it can grow 15 - 20 metres tall[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
,
1449
Title
Potential of Erythrina brucei, Erythrina abyssinica and Ensete ventricosum as Organic Sources of N P K on Small Hold
Publication
 
Author
Wassie Haile & Abebe Abay
Publisher
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Afr
Year
2013
ISBN
978-9988-633-73-8
Description
 
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is grown as a living fence and as a supplier of organic matter in perennial cropping systems, helping to protect and stabilize soils whilst increasing the yields of interplanted crops.

Known Hazards

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[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Botanical References


Range

Northeast Africa - Ethiopia

Habitat

Edges and open places of forests or woodlands; at elevations from 1,400 - 2,600 metres[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height15.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBirds, Insects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


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[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Established plants are very tolerant of drought and recover quickly once the drought ends[
1449
Title
Potential of Erythrina brucei, Erythrina abyssinica and Ensete ventricosum as Organic Sources of N P K on Small Hold
Publication
 
Author
Wassie Haile & Abebe Abay
Publisher
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Afr
Year
2013
ISBN
978-9988-633-73-8
Description
 
].
A fast-growing tree, it can reach a height of 3 metres within 6 months of planting[
1449
Title
Potential of Erythrina brucei, Erythrina abyssinica and Ensete ventricosum as Organic Sources of N P K on Small Hold
Publication
 
Author
Wassie Haile & Abebe Abay
Publisher
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Afr
Year
2013
ISBN
978-9988-633-73-8
Description
 
].
The plant responds well to coppicing, regrowing rapidly if cut to the ground[
1449
Title
Potential of Erythrina brucei, Erythrina abyssinica and Ensete ventricosum as Organic Sources of N P K on Small Hold
Publication
 
Author
Wassie Haile & Abebe Abay
Publisher
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Afr
Year
2013
ISBN
978-9988-633-73-8
Description
 
].
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[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
485
Title
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Vol 75
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden: Boston.
Year
1988
ISBN
 
Description
Contains, amongst other things, an article on the flora of Tanzania, a treatment of the genus Xyris and one for the Panamanian Boraginaceae. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].
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[
755
Title
Nodulation Plants in GRIN Taxonomy
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ars-grin.gov/~sbmljw/cgi-bin/taxnodul.pl?language=en
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database listing plants that have either positive or negative reports on root and stem nodulation with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The bark is used to treat ear infections[
1450
Title
Chemical constituents of root and stem bark of Erythrina brucei
Publication
Phytochemistry Letters 25 (2018) 37-42
Author
Getahun Tadesse Gurmessa et al
Website
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phytol.2018.03.006
Publisher
 
Year
2018
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is easy to grow from cuttings and so can be used to form living fences)[
328
Title
African Flowering Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/recherche.php
Publisher
Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on over 150,000 plant names (including synonyms) giving a description and habitat, plus a distribution map.
,
1449
Title
Potential of Erythrina brucei, Erythrina abyssinica and Ensete ventricosum as Organic Sources of N P K on Small Hold
Publication
 
Author
Wassie Haile & Abebe Abay
Publisher
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Afr
Year
2013
ISBN
978-9988-633-73-8
Description
 
].
The plant grows quickly and has been shown to stabilize soils and prevent erosion. It is a very good source of biomass for refertilizing soils - grown as a bounday hedge and in alleys in fields, 200 trees can easily provide 10 tonnes per hectare per year when growing on poor soils[
1449
Title
Potential of Erythrina brucei, Erythrina abyssinica and Ensete ventricosum as Organic Sources of N P K on Small Hold
Publication
 
Author
Wassie Haile & Abebe Abay
Publisher
United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Afr
Year
2013
ISBN
978-9988-633-73-8
Description
 
].
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[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The plant is used as ashade tree in coffee plantations and as a component of agroforestry systems[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

We have no specific information for this species, but the wood of Erythrina species is generally greyish-white in colour, light in weight but strong, with a spongy texture and not very durable. The wood from the various species is used for purposes such as sieve frames, surfboards, dugout canoes, outrigger canoe floats, boxes and small art carvings[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].

Propagation

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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Species in this genus are generally easy to grow from cuttings. Many will strike well even from large cuttings placed in the open ground so long as they are kept moist but not too wet[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-10-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Erythrina+brucei>

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