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Useful Tropical Plants

Erythrina sandwicensis

O.Deg.

Fabaceae


It is quite possible that this taxon is no more than a synonym of Erythrina tahitensis Nadak. - some authorities seem to accept this name as distinct whilst others place it in synonymy[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Common Name:

Erythrina sandwicensis
Severely wind-shaped tree
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis Erythrina sandwicensis

General Information

Erythrina sandwicensis is a deciduous tree with a spreading, light crown that is wider than it is high; it can grow from 5 - 15 metres tall. The short bole is stout, crooked or gnarled; it can be very spiny and 30 - 90cm in diameter[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood and dyestuff. It is sometimes used to form barriers and is planted in reforestation projects on badly eroded soils in Hawaii.

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

Pacific - Hawaii.

Habitat

Lowland areas on the leeward side of the Islands, thriving in the hot, dry foothills and lowland dry forest; at elevatuions up to 610 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height10.00 m
PollinatorsBirds, Insects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of lowland areas in Hawaii, where it id found below 610 metres in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 500 - 1,250mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Grows best in an open, sunny position[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Prefers well-drained soils[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Survives extended drought and high winds, though can become wind-shaped in high exposure[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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 flowers are used in the treatment of venereal diseases[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

The pounded bark is used in the treatment of various genital diseases[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. The bark is a medicine to be beaten with water and regularly drunk[
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

With its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, and its toleration of strong winds and drought, the tree is often used in revegetation programs of highly eroded areas in Hawaii[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
414
Title
Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factnet.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of in-depth factsheets on a wide range of plants, especially leguminous trees.
].
It has been frequently planted as a live fence on account of readiness with which it takes root when planted in the ground[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
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.
].

Other Uses

The tree (bark?) is a source of tannins. It is burned to make charcoal which can then be used as a colour pigment to blend with other ingredients in making paint[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The bright red seeds have been used for making leis[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The wood is light in weight[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
436
Title
Native Plants Hawaii
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website containing information on a range of native Hawaiian plants, with descriptions, habitat, traditional uses etc.
]. It was used by ancient Hawaiians for fishing net buoys, surfboards and outriggers on canoes. More recently, the wood has been carved into imitation whale-tooth necklaces[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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+sandwicensis>

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