Flora & Fauna

The tree of good health

The tree of good health

Amarjeet Singh Batth

Erythrina indica or Erythrina, known locally as the Indian Coral Tree belongs to the family Fabaceae and is globally distributed in tropical and sun tropical regions. It is amongst the earliest flowering trees in the spring season and adds colour to the skyline with its conspicuous vibrant red coloured flowers.

It is a useful plant for soil enrichment as it fixes nitrogen, nodulating readily and prolifically in both acid and alkaline soils and is also a good source of organic matter for green manure.

Description

It is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows up to 10 meters. The young stems and branches are armed with numerous stout conical prickles upto eight cm long and these fall off after 2-3 years. The bark is smooth, yellowish or greenish grey with longitudinal cracks when the tree is young and it becomes thick corky and deeply fissured with age. Leaves are compound, trifoliate, petiolate, terminal leaflet large and broad.

Flowers arranged in erect terminal racemes which appear on leafless branches. Red coloured blooms make their striking appearance in spring from February to April. These short-lived flowers are followed by new leaves.

Calyx is spathaceous. Corolla, papilinoaceous, wings and keel sub-equal, standard erect, long, claw like. Stamens are ten, diadelphous. The pistil is with a pubescent ovary and hairless style. Fruit is bean-like pod.

Where to plant

It is a good specimen garden plant in a home garden and can be planted in groups of 3-5-7 in large and public gardens. It is not a good avenue plant but forms an impressive skyline when planted along road on the southern side with deep blue sky which glitters the red flowers.

When to plant

The best time to plant is February- March and August- September. Make a pit of 3’x3’x3’ and expose the soil to the sun for few days. Then mix farm yard manure and DAP and settle in the pit. Fill the pit with water and let the soil settle down. When the soil becomes workable, dig a hole slightly bigger than the soil ball of the plant and place the plant sapling in it and press the soil to firm the roots. Water the plant immediately. Ensure the sampling stands straight and avoid giving a support.

Care and Upkeep

This is an easy-to- maintain tree. It requires deep irrigation during summers with dry intervals and just keep the soil moist in winters. Prune it whenever required to maintain good shape and form. Since it is a deciduous tree, the leaves fall in winters.

Importance

In Hinduism it’s the ‘Mandra tree’ of Indra’s Garden in ‘swarga’, the paradise. It also hase the same reference in Tibetian Buddhism and Christian Gnosticism. When in bloom the coral tree is like an aviary, attracting numerous bird species as well as bees collecting nectar. The leaves and tender shoots are a delicacy in many cuisines and are eaten as pot herbs. Wood is good for making rafts and floaters.

Medicinal properties

You can reduce the amount of harmful cholesterol in the blood by including some essence of the leaves of the Indian coral tree to your diet. It flushes out the bad LDL cholesterol and helps augment the heart health. Regular use will make your heart healthy.

Its stem is used to improve digestion and bark is used to cure worm infestation.

Erythrina indica has antipyretic properties and you can use it to get relief from fevers. Prepare tea with the leaves of the tree and have one glass of it twice daily until the fever vanishes.

Don't Miss

Tracing the origins of Pashmina

Tracing the origins of Pashmina

Up against issues of racism Down Under

Up against issues of racism Down Under

Why we need to mock ourselves a little, reset our systems

Why we need to mock ourselves a little, reset our systems

Trump’s coup de tweet

Trump’s coup de tweet

Respect every opinion

Respect every opinion

Top Stories

Wonder Down Under: India win Brisbane Test, take series 2-1

Wonder Down Under: India win Brisbane Test, take series 2-1

Rishabh Pant channelled his inner ‘Mad Max’ to scare the day...

Farmers say they’ll hold peaceful tractor rally on Jan 26 in Delhi and won’t compromise on it

Farmers say they’ll hold peaceful tractor rally on Jan 26 in Delhi and won’t compromise on it

Union leader Balbir Singh Rajewal says the plan they have pr...

15 migrant workers killed as truck runs them over in Gujarat’s Surat

15 migrant workers killed as truck runs them over in Gujarat’s Surat

All those killed hailed from Rajasthan and were sleeping by ...

Modi govt should serve NIA notice on Arnab Goswami, not farmers: Sunil Jakhar

Modi govt should serve NIA notice on Arnab Goswami, not farmers: Sunil Jakhar

Jakhar urged farmers to bring up the matter in their meeting...

People with fever and pregnant, breastfeeding women avoid Covaxin: Bharat Biotech

People with fever and pregnant, breastfeeding women avoid Covaxin: Bharat Biotech

The fact sheet also asked people to inform the vaccinator or...

Cities

View All