Description: Deciduous trees, stems and branches with conical prickles; bark ± corky.
Leaves alternate, pinnately 3-foliolate; stipules present, stipels gland-like.
Inflorescences racemes, axillary or terminal with leafy base, 2–40-flowered; bracts and bracteoles minute or absent. Calyx tube entire or ± 5-toothed, truncate, tube sometimes split. Standard erect or recurved, longer than wings or keel. Stamens diadelphous; anthers uniform. Ovary stipitate; style not bearded.
Pods usually linear-oblong, sometimes falcate, tapering to apex, generally constricted between seeds; seeds ovoid or oblong, usually red to orange, aril not prominent.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 150 spp. pantrop. regions. Aust.: c. 5 spp. (3 spp. endemic, 2 spp. naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., S.A., W.A.
A number of species are cultivated as ornamental trees.
Text by G.J. Harden
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaflets usually 2- or 3-lobed; wings and keel <20 mm long, not protruding from calyx.||Erythrina vespertilio|
|Leaflets always entire; keel >20 mm long, wings c. 15 mm long and scarcely protruding from calyx.||2|
|2||Leaflets ± ovate to obovate, >7 cm long and wide; flowers appearing before leaves; keel <30 mm long.||Erythrina x sykesii|
|Leaflets ± elliptic to ovate, <7 cm long and wide; flowers appearing with leaves; keel >30 mm long.|
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