Erythrina variegata L.

Erythrina variegata L.




Erythrina indica Lamk, Erythrina orientates (L.) Murr., Erythrina variegata L. var. orientalis (L.) Merrill.

Vernacular Names


Dedap, cengkering.


Indian coral tree, variegat­ed coral tree.


Indian coral bean (Florida), tiger's claw.


Arbreau corail, arbre immortel


Dadap blendung (Sundanese), dadap ayam, (Javanese), de de bineh (Madurese).

Papua New Guinea 

Balbal (Kuanua, Pala), valval (Lamekot), banban (Ugana).


Karapdap (Tagalog), andoro­gat (BikoI), bagbag (Ilokano).




Roluöhs ba:y.


(do:k) kho, th'o:ng ba:nz.


Thong baan, thong phueak (northern), thong laang laai (cen­tral).


C[aa]y v[oo]ng nem, h[af]i d[oof]ng b[if] (Annamese), dan ro, (Thuân Hai).

Geographical Distributions

Erythrina varie­gata is a native of the coastal forests from East Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands, from India, throughout Southeast Asia, to the Pacific Islands and the Northern Territory and Queensland in Australia. It has been cultivated throughout the tropics for so long that its original dispersal as a beach species is now obscure.


Erythrina varie­gata is a deciduous tree that can grow 3-27 m tall with fluted bole and much-branched crown. Its trunk and branches are thick and sappy, armed with large and scat­tered prickles. The bark is grey or grey-green and furrowed. The young shoots are stellate pubescent at first but becoming hairless later. The flowering branches are often leafless while in cul­tivation, tree is often unarmed.

The leaves are arranged alternate and with three leaflets. The stipules are lance-shaped, measure 1-1.5 cm long and ca­ducous. The petiole is 2-28 cm long and unarmed. The rachis is 10-12 cm long. The petiolule is up to 1.5 cm long and with spherical glandular stipels at the base. The leaflets are ovate to broadly rhomboid. They are usually wider than long, measuring 4-25 cm x 5-30 cm, with terminal one being largest, with rounded or slightly cordate base, acuminate at apex, entire or sometimes shallowly lobed, thinly coriaceous, green or sometimes strikingly variegated light green and yellow and become hairless.

The inflorescence is an axillary, dense raceme of 10-40 cm long and hairy ferruginous. The pe­duncle is 7-25 cm long while the pedicel is up to 1.5 cm long. The flowers are in groups of 3 that are scattered along the rachis. The red sepal is even­tually deeply spathaceous, measures 2-4 cm long and becomes hairless. The upper part of petal is ovate-elliptical, and measuring 5-8 cm x 2.5-3.5 cm. It is more than twice as long as wide, shortly clawed, longitudinally conduplicate, re­curved and bright red without white veins. Both wings and keel are subequal, measuring 1.5-2.5 cm long and red. There are 10 stamens which are monadelphous. The vexillar stamen is basally connate with the tube 1 cm long. The pistil is with a pubescent ovary and hairless style.

The pod is sausage-shaped or long cylindrical, measuring 10-45 cm x 2-3 cm, 1-13-seeded, slightly constricted between the seeds, becomes smooth and distinctly veined. The exo­carp bursts irregularly and indehiscent. The seed is ellip­soid to kidney-shaped, measuring 6-20 mm x 5-12 mm, smooth, glossy black and purplish or purplish red-brown.

Ecology / Cultivation

Erythrina varie­gata is adapted to coastal forests, but is frequently cultivated inland, up to 1200 m altitude. Annual rainfall should exceed 1250 mm. The mean minimum temperature should be about 20°C, the mean maximum tem­perature about 32°C.

Line Drawing / Photograph



1.       Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.11: Auxiliary plants.