Erythrina

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(Redirected from Coral tree)
Erythrina
Missing image
CoralBeanFlower.jpg



Flower of the Coral Bean, Erythrina herbacea
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Tribe:Phaseoleae
Genus:Erythrina
Species

Over 100, see text


The Genus Erythrina is a taxon of tropical and subtropical flowering trees in the Family Fabaceae and distributed worldwide. The name coral tree is used for many of these trees. Many species of Erythrina have bright red flowers, and this may be the origin of the common name. However, the growth of the branches can resemble the shape of sea coral, and this is an alternative source for the name. In horticulture, the name "coral tree" is used to refer to any red-flowered member of the genus. Not all species of Erythrina have bright red flowers: the wiliwili (E. sandwicensis) has extraordinary variation in its flower colour: orange, yellow, salmon, green and white all being found within natural populations. This striking color polymorphism is likely unique in the genus.

There are about 130 species in the Genus Erythrina, some of them well known, as they are used widely in the tropics and subtropics as street and park trees, especially in drier areas. Species include:

All species of Erythrina have bean-like seed pods. The seeds of over 40 of the species contain alkaloids, and some of the Amazonian species are used for medicinal and other purposes by indigenous peoples.

The coral tree (E. sp.?) is the official city tree of Los Angeles, California.

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