Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Erythrina variegata

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Fabaceae
Species  E. variegata
Order  Fabales
Genus  Erythrina
Erythrina variegata

Erythrina variegata (syn. E. indica Lam., E. variegata var. orientalis (L.) Merr.; tiger's claw, Indian coral tree and sunshine tree; Pali: pāricchattaka; Sanskrit: pārijāta, पारिजात) is a species of Erythrina native to the tropical and subtropical regions of eastern Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, northern Australia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean east to Fiji.

Description

It is a thorny deciduous tree growing to 27 m (89 ft) tall. The leaves are pinnate with a 20 cm petiole and three leaflets, each leaflet up to 20 cm long and broad. It has dense clusters of scarlet or crimson flowers and black seeds.

It is valued as an ornamental tree. Several cultivars have been selected, including 'Alba' with white flowers.

It was designated the official flower of Okinawa Prefecture in 1967. The deigo flower features in the popular song "Shima Uta" by The Boom, one of the most well-known songs associated with Okinawa. In addition, the use of the wood of the deigo tree is one of the unique characteristics of Ryukyuan lacquerware.

In Vietnam, the leaves are used to wrap fermented meat (Vietnamese: nem).

In Siddha medicine it is used especially for menstrual disorders and fissures at penis tip (Tamil: ஆண்குறிப்புண்).

References

Erythrina variegata Wikipedia


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