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Useful Tropical Plants

Erythrina senegalensis

DC.

Fabaceae


This species is closely related to and probably often confused with Erythrina vogelii Hook.f., a coastal tree found from Cote D'Ivoire to Cameroon. The two species may even hybridize[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
].

+ Synonyms

Erythrina guineensis G.Don

Erythrina latifolia Schumach.

Common Name:

Erythrina senegalensis
Flowering stem
Photograph by: Marco Schmidt
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5
Erythrina senegalensis Erythrina senegalensis Erythrina senegalensis

General Information

Erythrina senegalensis is a spiny shrub or tree with an open crown; it usually grows around 3 - 4.5 metres tall, but sometimes reaches up to 12 - 15 metres. The bole has a thick, corky, dark grey bark armed with stout prickles slightly recurved from a woody base[
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.
,
484
Title
West African Forests and Forestry
Publication
 
Author
Unwin A.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.; London
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Quite extensive information on some of the trees of West Africa. The book can be downloaded from the Internet
,
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for its various local medicinal uses. It is often grown as a hedge in Africa and sometimes also for its medicinal virtues[
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.
].. It usually flowers when leafless, producing large, red, conspicuous, ornamental flowers[
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.
,
484
Title
West African Forests and Forestry
Publication
 
Author
Unwin A.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.; London
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Quite extensive information on some of the trees of West Africa. The book can be downloaded from the Internet
].
Erythrina senegalensis has a wide distribution range. It is harvested for use in traditional medicine, but at present that does not seem to affect the population dynamics of the species. There are no other major known threats for the species and the population is currently believed to be stable. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

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

West tropical Africa - Senegal to northern Cameroon.

Habitat

Burned savannah; marigot edges; plateaux with fine gravel; degraded regrowths; sandy colluvium; coastal savannah; at elevations from near sea-level to 1,200 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

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height4.00 m
PollinatorsBirds, Insects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, 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.
].
The plant can be coppiced[
484
Title
West African Forests and Forestry
Publication
 
Author
Unwin A.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.; London
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Quite extensive information on some of the trees of West Africa. The book can be downloaded from the Internet
]. It also produces suckers[
484
Title
West African Forests and Forestry
Publication
 
Author
Unwin A.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.; London
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Quite extensive information on some of the trees of West Africa. The book can be downloaded from the Internet
].
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 febrifuge. A decoction is taken in the treatment of yellow fever, malaria, bronchitis, rachitis, liver and gallbladder problems, amenorrhoea, sterility in women[
608
Title
Medicinal plants of Aguambu - Bamumbu in the Lebialem highlands, southwest province of Cameroon.
Publication
 
Author
Focho D.A.; Ndam W.T.; Fonge B.A.
Website
http://www.academicjournals.org/ajpp
Publisher
African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Year
January 2009
ISBN
1996-0816
Description
A research paper, documenting the medicinal uses of 133 species of plants in West Africa.
,
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].

The bark and the roots are commonly used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders, as an anti-abortive, for treating leprosy, haemorrhoids and as a general tonic[
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].

The juice of the leaves is used in treating wounds[
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].

The wood is chewed as an aphrodisiac[
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].

The plant (part not specified) is used in the treatment of fractures[
608
Title
Medicinal plants of Aguambu - Bamumbu in the Lebialem highlands, southwest province of Cameroon.
Publication
 
Author
Focho D.A.; Ndam W.T.; Fonge B.A.
Website
http://www.academicjournals.org/ajpp
Publisher
African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Year
January 2009
ISBN
1996-0816
Description
A research paper, documenting the medicinal uses of 133 species of plants in West Africa.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is commonly grown as a hedge in Africa[
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.
].
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 seeds are used as beads[
774
Title
Trees and Shrubs of the Sahel. Their Characteristics and Uses.
Publication
 
Author
von Maydell H.
Publisher
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit; Germany
Year
1990
ISBN
3-8236-1198-4
Description
A well-researched book, usually with more than one photograph of each species and good information on the plant and its uses.
].

A fibre obtained from the bark is used to make scented bracelets etc[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
].

The wood is very light in weight, soft and not durable[
484
Title
West African Forests and Forestry
Publication
 
Author
Unwin A.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.; London
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Quite extensive information on some of the trees of West Africa. The book can be downloaded from the Internet
]. It is of little value but is sometimes used for fencing[
484
Title
West African Forests and Forestry
Publication
 
Author
Unwin A.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.; London
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
Quite extensive information on some of the trees of West Africa. The book can be downloaded from the Internet
].

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+senegalensis>

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