Erythrina also known as Coral tree is a genus of tropical and subtropical flowering trees belonging to Fabaceae* family. There are an estimated 113 species of Erythrina species, or coral trees, worldwide; 70 neo-tropical, 31 African, and 12 Asian species.
Erythrina – Coral Tree blossoms come in shades ranging from a subtle pale peach to brilliantly vivid orange-reds. The flaming blossoms are often pollinated by birds, like Humming birds.
Erythrina trees are used as living fences, windbreaks for soil and water conservation, shade trees for coffee plantations, support trees for pepper vines, and timber. The flowers of the tree are eaten or used to make tea and the seeds are used to make jewelry. The leaves are used as animal fodder and the wood can be carved into canoes and surf boats. Since Erythrinas are nitrogen-fixing trees, they provide a major source of nitrogen in tropical ecosystems and crop production, thus decreasing the amount of synthetic nitrogen added. This in turn reduces the need to purchase fertilizer, thus lowering costs and increasing self-sufficiency.
Erythrinas also have significant medicinal uses and has been used worldwide for many years to treat several different diseases. In the last decade, research has shown that Erythrinas with their chemical makeup are potential treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
*Fabaceae or Leguminosae is an important family of flowering plants. These plants are commonly known as the legume family, pea family, bean family or pulse family.