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Common Name: Tambookie Thorn
Erythrina acanthocarpa is a Deciduous Shrub up to 2.00 metres tall.
It has medicinal uses.
The plant contains alkaloids that have powerful narcotic and purgative effects[
The seeds of all members of this genus are said to be poisonous[
S. Africa - Eastern Cape province.
Requires a moderately fertile well-drained soil in a very sunny position[
]. Best if given the protection of an east, south or south-west facing wall[
Plants are not very hardy outdoors in Britain though they experience at least moderate frosts in their native range and would be worthwhile trying outdoors in the very mildest areas of this country[
]. They can tolerate occasional lows to about -5°c[
], especially if they are kept relatively dry[
]. The stem bases should be thickly mulched with organic matter such as leaf litter or sawdust and covered with bracken[
]. The top growth will be killed by the frost but new growth from the rootstock will flower in late summer[
The plant produces a large underground rootstock[
]. Care should be taken not to plant it alongside paving as this rootstock may cause the paving to lift[
Plants take 3 - 4 years to flower from seed[
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[
The plant is narcotic and purgative[
Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer.
Heeled cuttings of young growth in the spring in a frame[
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings are difficult to strike[