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Useful Temperate Plants

Erythrina flabelliformis

Kearney

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Erythrina coralloides A.Gray

Erythrina purpusi Brandegee

Common Name: Western Coral Bean

No Image.

General Information

Erythrina flabelliformis is a spiny, deciduous shrub or a small tree with an open crown; it usually grows from 1.5 - 5 metres tall, but can reach 7 metres. The short bole can be 25cm in diameter[
385
Title
Bihrmann's Caudiciforms
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bihrmann.com/caudiciforms/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An internet site giving information on caudiciform plants (plants with swollen stem bases such as the Baobab tree, cycads and many succulents). Excellent photos, usually of cultivated plants in pots.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for localuse as a medicine and source of seeds that are used as beads. The seeds are sold in local markets in Mexico for use in making necklaces[
520
Title
Botanical Beads
Publication
 
Author
Smith R.J.
Website
http://www.botanicalbeads.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website looking at seeds that are used for ornament. It is based on a book that the author had written.
].

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

Southwestern N. America - Baja California to Arizona and New Mexico, south through western Mexico to Michoacan

Habitat

Warm, dry rocky slopes, washes, and canyons of foothills and mountains in upper desert, desert grassland, and oak woodland zones; at elevations from 900 - 1,500 metres.

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
PollinatorsBirds, Insects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Erythrina flabelliformis is not very cold-tolerant, being cut back by any more than light frosts. If damaged in areas with generally mild winters, it will usually resprout from the base in the spring and can then flower in late summer[
520
Title
Botanical Beads
Publication
 
Author
Smith R.J.
Website
http://www.botanicalbeads.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website looking at seeds that are used for ornament. It is based on a book that the author had written.
].
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.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The seed is crushed and made into a tea for treating gastrointestinal problems, headaches, toothaches, eye problems[
872
Title
Journal of Ethnobiology Vol 17
Publication
 
Author
Eugene S. Hunn (Editor)
Publisher
Society of Ethnobiology; Seattle.
Year
1997 - 1998
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles on the various ways humans use plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is commonly used in Mexico to make hedges and living fences[
1453
Title
Notes on Useful Plants of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the U.S. National Herbarium, Vol 5, No 4 pp 209-259, 1899
Author
Rose J.N.
Publisher
 
Year
1899
ISBN
 
Description
Brief notes on some of the useful plants of Mexico for food, medicine and various commodities
].

Other Uses

The shiny red, tan or orange seeds are used as beads in necklaces[
520
Title
Botanical Beads
Publication
 
Author
Smith R.J.
Website
http://www.botanicalbeads.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website looking at seeds that are used for ornament. It is based on a book that the author had written.
,
872
Title
Journal of Ethnobiology Vol 17
Publication
 
Author
Eugene S. Hunn (Editor)
Publisher
Society of Ethnobiology; Seattle.
Year
1997 - 1998
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles on the various ways humans use plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. They are also used in children's games[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The wood is brittle. It is used locally for carving figures, especially of saints[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
We have no further 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

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[
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.
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer.
Heeled cuttings of young growth in the spring in a frame[
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.
]. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-10-19. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Erythrina+flabelliformis>

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