Erythrina subumbrans (Hassk.) Merr.

Last updated: 27 May 2015

Scientific Name

Erythrina subumbrans (Hassk.) Merr.


Erythrina holosericea "Kurz, p.p.", Erythrina secundiflora Hassk., Erythrina sumatrana Miq., Hypaphorus subumbrans Hassk., Corallodendron lithospermum (Blume ex Miq.) Kuntze, Erythrina holoserica Kurz  [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Dedap batik, cengkering [2], dedap [3]
English December tree [2]
India Eramudu , muruinja [4]
Indonesia Dadap duri, da­dap minyak (General); dadap rangrang, dadap lesang (Sundanese); dadap ri, dadap lenga (Javanese) [2]; chenkering, dadap lisa, dadap srep, dadap limit, dadap ranrang, dadap changing, dadap chuchuk [3]
Thailand Thonglang-pa (Northern); thong-Iang (Central) [2]; tawang pa, tawng lang [3]
Myanmar Ye-katit [2][4]
Philippines Dap-dap (Tagalog); aring (Bikol); anii (Bisaya) [2]; raring [4]
Papua New Guinea Th'o:ng hla:ng [2], dadap [4]

Geographical Distributions

Erythrina sub­umbrans occurs naturally from India and Sri Lan­ka, throughout Southeast Asia (except New Guinea) to Fiji and Samoa. Now, it is distributed throughout the tropics. This plant occurs at low and. medium altitudes, from (0-)300-1500 m, in moist valleys, near streams, in open locations and sec­ondary forests. [2]

Botanical Description

E. sub­umbrans comes from the Leguminosae family. It is a deciduous, medium-sized tree which can reach 5-25 m tall while its trunk can reach up to 60 cm in diameter. The crown spreads and the bark is whitish. The trunk and branch­es are armed with stout prickles while in cultivation, it is mostly unarmed.

The leaves are arranged alternate and with three leaflets. The stipules are orbicular, small and caducous. The rachis is 10-21 cm long and inclusive of the petiole which is 8-16 cm long and thick­ened at the base. The petiolule is up to 7 mm long. There are 2 stipels below the lateral leaflets. They are stipitate, cup-like, glandular and measure 2 mm long. The leaflets are ovate-triangular-­rhomboid, with terminal one being largest and measuring 8-16 cm x 6-14 cm. The base is rounded or cordate, acumi­nate at apex and hairless.

The inflorescence is racemose at the up­per leaf axils. It is 5-23 cm long and brownish-hairy. There are many flowers arranged in groups of 3. The peduncle is cylindrical, robust, measures 3-15 cm long and pubescent. The pedicel is 2-3 mm long, where in fruit it is up to 6 mm long. The sepal is bell-shaped, measures 1-1.5 cm long, splits open halfway down, hairy and yellow-green. The 5 petals are red where the upper part is broadly elliptical, shortly clawed, measuring 2.5-4 cm x 2-3 cm, scarlet and with numerous white stripes at the base inside. The wings are as long as the keel or slightly longer. They are about 1.5 cm long, and pale red with a blackish at the upper margin. There are 10 stamens which are 3-3.5 cm long, mon­adelphous but with vexillary stamen slightly shorter than the other ones. The pistil is with a hairy ovary.

The pod is flat, curved, measures 10-15 cm long and on a slender stalk 3-4.5 cm long. The lower part is seedless and it is 2-2.5 cm wide, while the upper part is thicker which is 1-1.5 cm wide and 1-5-seeded. It is septate between the seeds and dehiscent.

The seed is ellipsoid, measuring 7-18 mm x 5-11 mm, smooth and dull black.


E. sub­umbrans requires a high annual rainfall with a maximum of 4 months with less than 100 mm rainfall, and a mean annual temperature above 22°C. It is reported, however, to occur gre­gariously on the Ijen plateau in East Java, in open grasslands, in stony or sandy, occasionally dry places; elsewhere, it is widely dispersed. The trees are fairly tolerant of wind, unless branches have been damaged by borers. The seeds are dispersed by water and occasionally by birds. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of Erythrina subumbrans (Hassk.) Merr [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1 Erythrina subumbrans (Hassk.) Merr. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 May 29] Available from:
  2. Umi Kalsom Yusuf. Erythrina subumbrans (Hassk.) Merrill In: Faridah Hanum I, Van der Maesen LJG, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 11: Auxiliary plants. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1997; p.127-130.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.324.
  4. Quattrocchi UFLS. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 132-133