Dusky Coral Bean
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Dusky Coral Bean
D Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Dusky Coral Bean, Purple coraltree • Malayalam: Kandal Murikku
Botanical name: Erythrina fusca    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Erythrina caffra Blanco, Erythrina atrosanguinea, Erythrina glauca

Dusky Coral Bean is a moderate-sized much branched trees with scattered pale thorns, bark pale brown, thick and fluted. Leaves are trifoliate, with leaflets 8-15 x 4.5-8 cm, elliptic or ovate, base rounded, tip blunt or rounded, somewhat leathery, lateral nerves 6-8 pairs; stipels about 1 mm long, persistent. Flowers are crimson, mostly 3-nate on the rusty-hairy axis of the racemes; bracts and bracteoles about 2.5 x 2 mm, ovate; flower-stalks 8-15 mm long. Sepal-cup is 1.4-1.7 cm long, bell-shaped, rusty velvet-hairy, often irregularly splitting. Standard is 3.5-4.5 long, rounded-rhomboid, the claw about 1.5 cm long; wings about 2 x 1.3 cm, obliquely obovate; keels about 3 x 1.5 cm, ovate-sickle shaped. Pods are 8-15 x 1.2-1.8 cm, linear, with bead-like protrusions, beaked, adpressed hairy, 5-8-seeded. Seeds are 1-1.5 x 0.5-0.8 cm, oblong-ellipsoid, blackish. Dusky Coral Bean is found in South America, parts of Africa and India. Flowering: January-May.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in North Andaman.

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