L., Sp. Pl. 706 (1753).
Derivation: From Greek erythros, red; on account of the red flowers.
Synonymy: Not Applicable
Common name: (Verdcourt (1971) Fl. Trop. E. Afr. 4, 2:541-561.) Coral trees.
Trees or less often shrubs or small subshrubs, often armed with strong prickles, those on the trunk with large conical woody bases; bark more or less corky; leaves pinnately 3-foliolate; stipules persistent and deciduous; stipels usually fleshy and glandular.
Inflorescence axillary or terminal, mostly pyramidal and many-flowered, frequently appearing when the plant is quite leafless, falsely racemose, the flowers mostly in 2- to several-flowered groups (pedicel-bases often not joined but approximate), scattered on the rhachis or rarely flowers axillary and solitary; bract and bracteoles mostly deciduous; calyx tube cylindric or fusiform; the limb truncate, oblique or consisting of 1 or 2 truncate lips or 1-5 teeth varying from small lobes to long filiform divisions, becoming campanulate or at length sheathing, often split down one side; petals generally fairly large, bright-red or orange; standard oblong or rounded, clawed or not; keel and wings usually much smaller; 9 stamens united in a sheath around the ovary, stamen opposite the standard free or partly connate with the tube; anthers uniform; ovary stipitate, mostly linear or fusiform, 2- to many-ovuled; style long, incurved; stigma capitate, small.
Pods mostly linear-oblong, sometimes falcate, frequently much constricted between the seeds, 1-14-seeded, 2-valved, mostly leathery or woody; seed ovoid or ellipsoid-reniform, mostly red or orange; hilum elliptic or oblong, white or black; rim-aril not developed.
A pantropic genus estimated at 125-200 species with 4 naturally occurring in central and northern Australia, some extensively cultivated as ornamental trees.
Key to Species:
Not yet available