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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description of Erythrina crista-galli

Erythrina crista-galli also known as the cockspur coral tree, firemans cap, or cry-baby tree is a decidious and thorny tree native to South America. It can reach 6 metres tall. It bears striking deep-red flowers in summer in clusters as is typical of Fabaceae. Leaves are decidious, alternate and composed. They are spiny. 
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David

Source: BioPedia

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Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Cultivated as a shade plants, Native of Tropical America"
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Description

Small tree. Leaves 3-foliolate, ovate to lanceolate in outline, with prickles on petiole and rhachis; glandular stipels present at the base of the petiolules; Leaflets ovate-oblong, entire, glabrous. Inflorescences terminal, lax, leafy, the flowers sometimes borne in the axils of the leaves. Flowers crimson. Calyx tube as broad as long, truncate to shortly lobed, not splitting. Keel falcate, at least half as long as the standard. Seeds mottled, brown.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Derivation of specific name

crista-galli: cock's comb.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: In Brazil, from Maranhao through Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais.

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"Maharashtra: Pune Tamil Nadu: Coimbatore, Dindigul, Kanniyakumari, Nilgiri, Salem, Theni"
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Worldwide distribution

Brazil
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Trees, Woody throughout, Nodules present, Stems erect or ascending, Stems 1-2 m tall, Stems greater than 2 m tall, Trunk or stems armed with thorns, spines or prickles, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs glabrous or sparsely glabrate, Leaves absent at flowering time, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules deciduous, Stipules free, Leaves compound, Leaves pinnately 3-foliolate, Leaves odd pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Stipels present at base of leaflets, Leaflets 3, Leaves glabrous or nearly so, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescence axillary, Inflorescence terminal, Bracts very small, absent or caducous, Bracteoles present, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 2-lipped or 2-lobed, Calyx glabrous, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals red, Banner petal suborbicular, broadly rounded, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Wing tips obtuse or rounded, Keel petals fused on sides or at tip, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Fruit a legume, Fruit stipitate, Fruit unilocular, Fruit tardily or weakly dehiscent, Fruit elongate, straight, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit coriaceous or becoming woody, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit compressed between seeds, Fruit torulose or moniliform, strongly constricted between seeds, Fruit beaked, Fruit glabrous or glabrate, Fruit 2-seeded, Fruit 3-10 seeded, Seeds ovoid to rounded in outline, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Shrub
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Erythrina crista-galli

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Erythrina crista-galli

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Native of South America, cultivated in warm regions of the U.S. (Lopez 1987). In Brazil, from Maranhao through Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais (Santos 1987).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: Honey, MEDICINE/DRUG, Folk medicine, Building materials/timber, Paper/pulp, Useful poisons, Tannin/dye, Cultivated ornamental, OTHER USES/PRODUCTS

Comments: La madera es liviana y blanda. Apta para producir pasta celulósica, la corteza es empleada como astringente en baños de asiento y baños de vapor para dolores de huesos. Contiene el alcaloide eritrina (muy afín al curari) que posee propiedades narcóticas y sedativas. Arbol melífero. Usado como ornamental (López and Little 1987). The logs, due to their lightness, are used in raft construction. The wood is also used in making wooden shoes, floats, stable floors, and for wide planks, while large canoes are dug out from the biggest trunks. The bark is a source of tanning material and flowers yield a dye (Record and Mell 1924). The wood is also used to make troughs, fishing rope buoys, beehive crates, flooring for grain storage sheds and stables and drafting boards (Santos 1987).

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Wikipedia

Erythrina crista-galli

Erythrina crista-galli is a flowering tree in the family Fabaceae, native to Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil and Paraguay. It is widely planted as a street or garden tree in other countries, most notably in California (in the United States). It is known by several common names within South America: ceibo, seíbo (Spanish), corticeira (Portuguese) and the more ambiguous bucaré, to name a few. In English it is often known as the Cockspur Coral Tree.

The ceibo is the national tree of Argentina, and its flower the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay.

This species characteristically grows wild in gallery forest ecosystems along watercourses, as well as in swamps and wetlands. In urban settings, it is often planted in parks for its bright red flowers.

Description[edit]

A ceibo tree in an urban park in Rosario, Argentina.

Erythrina crista-galli is a small tree, the girth of its trunk measuring 50 cm (20 in). Normally it grows 5–8 m (16–26 ft) tall, although some individuals, such as in the Argentine provinces of Salta, Jujuy and Tucumán, can grow up to 10 m (33 ft).

The root is a taproot with nodules produced by nitrogen fixing bacteria. The bacteria live in symbiosis with the tree, facilitating the tree's absorption of nitrogen in return for organic substances which the bacteria need. The tree's trunk is woody with irregular, spiny branches. These branches form a layer without definite form[verification needed] and die after flowering.

The tree flowers in the summer, from October to April in their native South America and from April to October in the northern hemisphere. It Usually blooms from November to February The red flower, arranged in inflorescences of the raceme type, is pentameric, complete, and of bilateral symmetry. Its calyx is gamosepalous, like a little red thimble. The corolla, like that of other legumes like common beans, is butterfly-shaped; however, the largest petal, called the "standard", is arranged in the lower part. The two of the petals called "wings" are so small that they are practically hidden within the calyx. The remaining two petals partially fuse together on occasion and form the flower's keel or "carina"; this protects its reproductive organs. The androecium consists of ten stamens, one free and nine united by their filaments (gynostemial androecium). The unicarpel gynoecium is welded between the stamens like a knife in its sheath.

The flowers are rich in nectar and are visited by insects, which usually have to crawl underneath the carina and thus pollinate the flowers.

The tree's fruit is a legume, a dry pod a few centimeters in length derived from a single carpel and contains about 8-10 chestnut-brown bean-shaped seeds. The cotyledons are hypogeal, staying underground upon germination.

Synonyms[edit]

Synonyms are as follows:[1]

E. speciosa Andrews is a distinct species

References[edit]

This article draws heavily on the corresponding article in the Spanish-language Wikipedia.
  1. ^ International Legume Database & Information Service (ILDIS) (2005): Erythrina crista-galli. Version 10.01, November 2005. Retrieved 26 January 2008.
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