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Useful Tropical Plants

Erythrina stricta

Roxb.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Corallodendron strictum (Roxb.) Kuntze

Micropteryx stricta (Roxb.) Duchass. & Walp.

Micropteryx stricta (Roxb.) Walp.

Common Name:

Erythrina stricta
Flowers
Photograph by: Dinesh Valke
Creative Commons License
Erythrina stricta Erythrina stricta Erythrina stricta Erythrina stricta Erythrina stricta

General Information

Erythrina stricta is an evergreen tree with a rather open crown; it can grow from 7 - 35 metres tall. The bole is straight with a soft, thick bark. Younger trees have sharp thorns on thick, woody bases[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
730
Title
A Field Guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand
Publication
 
Author
Gardener S.; Sidisunthorn P.; Anusarnsunthorn V.
Publisher
Kobfai Publishing Project; Bangkok.
Year
2000
ISBN
974-7799-01-4
Description
An excellent, concise guide to 430 species, plus notes on another 450 species. Excellent photographs and a separate section on distribution and plant uses.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is cultivated in India as a hedge plant and as supports for peppers and vines, and is used as a pioneer species in reforestation projects in Thailand[
998
Title
Forest Restoration Planting in Northern Thailand
Publication
Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources No. 31/2002
Author
Pakkad G.; Elliott S.; Anusarnsunthorn V. Et al
Website
http://www.fao.org/
Publisher
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Bangkok
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
A report on reforestation in northern Thailand by using specific pioneer species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The tree has religious significance in India[
730
Title
A Field Guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand
Publication
 
Author
Gardener S.; Sidisunthorn P.; Anusarnsunthorn V.
Publisher
Kobfai Publishing Project; Bangkok.
Year
2000
ISBN
974-7799-01-4
Description
An excellent, concise guide to 430 species, plus notes on another 450 species. Excellent photographs and a separate section on distribution and plant uses.
].

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

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - China, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.

Habitat

Forests by rivers, mountain slopes; at elevations around 1,400 metres in China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Found in both dry and moist forests, but only regenerating in open areas[
730
Title
A Field Guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand
Publication
 
Author
Gardener S.; Sidisunthorn P.; Anusarnsunthorn V.
Publisher
Kobfai Publishing Project; Bangkok.
Year
2000
ISBN
974-7799-01-4
Description
An excellent, concise guide to 430 species, plus notes on another 450 species. Excellent photographs and a separate section on distribution and plant uses.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBirds, Insects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

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.
].
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.
].

A fast-growing tree[
998
Title
Forest Restoration Planting in Northern Thailand
Publication
Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources No. 31/2002
Author
Pakkad G.; Elliott S.; Anusarnsunthorn V. Et al
Website
http://www.fao.org/
Publisher
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Bangkok
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
A report on reforestation in northern Thailand by using specific pioneer species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The stem bark is crushed in water and applied locally to the body in order to destroy lice[
856
Title
Traditional Ethnomedicinal Knowledge Confined to the Pawra Tribe of Satpura Hills, Maharashtra, India.
Publication
Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 98-115.
Author
Jagtap S.D.; Deokule S.S.; Pawar P.K.; Harsulkar A.M.
Website
http://www.ethnoleaflets.com/
Publisher
 
Year
2009
ISBN
1948-3570
Description
Information on the traditional medicinal use of plants by the Pawra tribe in Maharashtra, India. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree is planted as a pioneer species in northern Thailand in reforestation projects to restore native woodland - it is planted in degraded woodland and open areas in a mix with various other species that all have the ability to grow fast; produce dense, weed-suppressing crowns; and attract seed-dispersing wildlife, particularly birds and bats[
998
Title
Forest Restoration Planting in Northern Thailand
Publication
Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources No. 31/2002
Author
Pakkad G.; Elliott S.; Anusarnsunthorn V. Et al
Website
http://www.fao.org/
Publisher
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Bangkok
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
A report on reforestation in northern Thailand by using specific pioneer species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
In India it is cultivated as a hedge plant, in living fences and for supporting pepper and vine[
998
Title
Forest Restoration Planting in Northern Thailand
Publication
Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, Management and Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources No. 31/2002
Author
Pakkad G.; Elliott S.; Anusarnsunthorn V. Et al
Website
http://www.fao.org/
Publisher
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Bangkok
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
A report on reforestation in northern Thailand by using specific pioneer species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
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 bright red flowers yield a colour used in dyes[
730
Title
A Field Guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand
Publication
 
Author
Gardener S.; Sidisunthorn P.; Anusarnsunthorn V.
Publisher
Kobfai Publishing Project; Bangkok.
Year
2000
ISBN
974-7799-01-4
Description
An excellent, concise guide to 430 species, plus notes on another 450 species. Excellent photographs and a separate section on distribution and plant uses.
].

The wood is used to make household utensild[
730
Title
A Field Guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand
Publication
 
Author
Gardener S.; Sidisunthorn P.; Anusarnsunthorn V.
Publisher
Kobfai Publishing Project; Bangkok.
Year
2000
ISBN
974-7799-01-4
Description
An excellent, concise guide to 430 species, plus notes on another 450 species. Excellent photographs and a separate section on distribution and plant uses.
].
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. 2019-11-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Erythrina+stricta>

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