Ajuntament de Barcelona

Erythrina falcata

Hortes de Sant Bertran and Forestier's stairs

    Catalan name: 
    Eritrina de Jujuy
    Spanish name: 
    Ceibo de Jujuy, ceibo de monte
    English name: 
    Brazilian coral tree
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Corallodendron falcatum
    Species characteristics
    Family: 
    Fabaceae
    Origin: 
    Paraná Basin
    Characteristics: 

    Deciduous tree 9-12 m tall, although it can reach 30 m in height, with twisted trunk 30-80 cm in diameter and greyish, very rough and clefted thick bark.

    The leaves are compound and alternate, with a prickled long petiole (7-15 cm long). They are composed of three oval or lanceolate leaflet, 9-13 cm long.

    The sickle-shaped brigh red flowers, about 5 cm long, appear solitary or into groups of up to 3. They are gathered into inflorescences 10-30 cm long of 10 hermaphrodite flowers, every one 2-3.5 cm wide and with a big petal and 4 narrow ones.

    The fruits are dark brown slightly curved woody dehiscent (they open to release the seeds) legumes, 10-25 cm long and 2-3.5 cm wide, which contain 3-15 blackish with brown marks seeds.

    Flowering time: 
    Late winter-early spring
    Uses and properties: 

    Gardening is the main use for the Brazilian Coral Tree since its ornamental value is highly appreciated because of the flashy flowers.

    Inhabitants of the Paraná river used some parts of the tree (bark, branches and seeds) in medicine and for fishing, since it had an anesthesic effect on fishes.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name Erythrina falcata comes from the Greek ερυθρος, “red”, in allusion to the flowers' bright red colour of the genus Erythrina some species, and the Latin falcata, “sickle”, in the reference to the half-moon shape of its flowers.