Erythrina abyssinica

Erythrina abyssinica


One packet contains 20 seeds.

The red hot poker tree is aptly named for its stunning orange-red flowers which grow in cone-like racemes. A deciduous tree usually reaching no higher than 15 m (49 ft), this species is distributed across East and Southern Africa where it is used for many purposes. It is a popular shade tree for coffee and commonly used as a live fence. Its seeds share a vibrant color reminiscent of its flowers, and are often used in the making of jewelry. Its shiny leaves are trifoliate with the terminal leaf being the largest. The wood is light and soft, the bark is sometimes used as a brown dye, and the sap is reddish. Since E. abyssinica has a deep root system it is resistant to fire and can be used in soil conservation programs to prevent erosion. It is also nitrogen fixing and is recommended as a green manure. Though this plant has a myriad of medicinal purposes, the seeds contain a toxin similar to curare (arrow poisons originating in Central/South America), though it is only harmful if injected directly into the bloodstream.

Suitable for outdoor planting in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 to 11

Minimum tested germination rate is 26%

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