Erythrina variegata L.

Last updated: 27 May 2015

Scientific Name

Erythrina variegata L.


Chirocalyx candolleanus Walp. ,Chirocalyx divaricatus Walp., Chirocalyx indicus Walp., Chirocalyx pictus Walp., Corallodendron divaricatum (Moc. & Sesse) Kuntze, Corallodendron orientale (L.) Kuntze, Corallodendron spathaceum (DC.) Kuntze, Erythrina alba Cogn. & Marchal, Erythrina boninensis Tuyama, Erythrina carnea Blanco, Erythrina corallodendron Lour., Erythrina divaricata DC., Erythrina humeana sensu R.Vig., Erythrina indica Lam., Erythrina lithosperma Miq., Erythrina lobulata Miq., Erythrina loueiri G.Don, Erythrina loureiri G.Don [Spelling variant], Erythrina loureirii G.Don, Erythrina marmorata Planch., Erythrina mysorensis Gamble, Erythrina orientalis Murray, Erythrina orientalis (L.) Merr., Erythrina parcelli hort., Erythrina parcellii W.Bull, Erythrina phlebocarpa Bailey, Erythrina picta L., Erythrina rostrata Ridl., Erythrina spathacea DC., Gelala alba Rumph., Gelala litorea Rumph., Tetradapa javanorum Osbeck [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Dedap, cengkering [2][3], dadap, radap [4]
English Indian coral tree, variegat­ed coral tree, tiger's claw [2], coral tree, Indian bean, mocha wood tree, east indies coral tree [3], Easter flower, India coral bean, moochy wood tree, thorny dadap [4]
China Ci tong, jai tong pi [4]
India Badamu, badapu, badaspa, badchamu, badchipachettu, badida, badidamu, badidapu-chettu, baddie, badidi, badiga, badisa, badise, badita, badite, baditha, baditi, bahupushpa, baridachettu, barijamu, bhadesapa, chaavuldwa, chavuldawa,dadap, era-badu, era-mudu, farhad, ferrud [4]
Indonesia Dadap blendung (Sundanese); dadap ayam, (Javanese); de de bineh (Madurese) [2]; dadap ajam [4]
Thailand Thong baan, thong phueak (Northern); thong laang laai (Cen­tral) [2][4]
Laos (do:k) kho, th'o:ng ba:nz [2] [4]
Myanmar Penglay-kathit [2]
Philippines Karapdap (Tagalog); andoro­gat (BikoI); bagbag (Ilokano) [2]; dapdap, kasindak [3], dubdub, gabgab, kabrab [4]
Cambodia Roluöhs ba:y [2]
Vietnam C[aa]y v[oo]ng nem, h[af]i d[oof]ng b[if] (Annamese); dan ro, (Thuân Hai) [2]
Japan Deigo, diigu [4]
Papua New Guinea Balbal (Kuanua, Pala); valval (Lamekot); banban (Ugana) [2]; ba, ben, beng, bigini, bubukai, givini, ivini, lalawa,lehelehe, namatia [4]
France Arbreau corail, arbre immortel [2]

Geographical Distributions

Erythrina varie­gata is a native of 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. [2]

Botanical Description

E. varie­gata comes from the Leguminosae family. It is a deciduous tree that can grow 3-27 m tall with fluted bole and much-branched crown. [2]

The 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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

The seed is ellip­soid to kidney-shaped, measuring 6-20 mm x 5-12 mm, smooth, glossy black and purplish or purplish red-brown. [2]


E. varie­gata has been cultivated throughout the tropics for so long that its original dispersal as a beach species is now obscure. It 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. [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 E. variegata L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1 Erythrina variegata L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2010 Jul 14; cited 2015 May 29] Available from:
  2. Na-songkhla B. Erythrina variegata L. 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.130-132.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 325.
  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. 133-134