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Erythrina sandwicensis - O.Deg.

Common Name Wiliwili, Hawaiian coral tree
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Lowland areas on the leeward side of the Islands, thriving in the hot, dry foothills and lowland dry forest[303 ].
Range Pacific - Hawaii.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Erythrina sandwicensis Wiliwili, Hawaiian coral tree


wikimedia.org Mrs. Frances Sinclair
Erythrina sandwicensis Wiliwili, Hawaiian coral tree
Forest & Kim Starr www.starrenvironmental.com

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Erythrina sandwicensis is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

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The flowers are used in the treatment of venereal diseases[436 ]. The pounded bark is used in the treatment of various genital diseases[436 ]. The bark is a medicine to be beaten with water and regularly drunk[436 ].

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Other Uses

Design: Specimen Plant. Agroforestry Uses: With its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, and its toleration of strong winds and drought, the tree is often used in revegetation programs of highly eroded areas in Hawaii[303 ]. It has been frequently planted as a live fence on account of readiness with which it takes root when planted in the ground[303 ]. Other Uses The tree (bark?) is a source of tannins. It is burned to make charcoal which can then be used as a colour pigment to blend with other ingredients in making paint[303 ]. The bright red seeds have been used for making leis[303 ]. The wood is light in weight[303 , 436 ]. It was used by ancient Hawaiians for fishing net buoys, surfboards and outriggers on canoes. More recently, the wood has been carved into imitation whale-tooth necklaces[303 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Agroforestry Services: Living trellis  Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Agroforestry Services: Windbreak  Management: Coppice  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

A plant of lowland areas in Hawaii, where it id found below 610 metres in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 500 - 1,250mm[303 ]. Grows best in an open, sunny position[303 ]. Prefers well-drained soils[303 ]. Survives extended drought and high winds, though can become wind-shaped in high exposure[303 , K ]. The various species of Erythrina can all, as far as is known, be intercrossed to produce fertile hybrids[310 ]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[755 ].

Carbon Farming

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Propagation

Like many species within the family Fabaceae, once they have been dried for storage the seeds of this species may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[K ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Wiliwili, Hawaiian coral tree, Hawaiian erythrina

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

United States

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : At Risk

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Erythrina acanthocarpa Shrub2.0 8-11  LMHSNM01 
Erythrina crista-galliCoral Tree, CrybabytreeShrub3.0 7-10  LMHNM01 
Erythrina edulisBalu. Andean tree beanTree10.0 10-12 FLMHNDM323
Erythrina fuscaCoral Bean, Swamp ImmortelleTree15.0 10-12 MLMHNDM224
Erythrina herbaceaCardinal Spear, RedcardinalPerennial1.0 7-10  LMHSNM11 
Erythrina humeanaDwarf Kaffirboom, Dwarf erythrinaShrub4.0 8-11  LMHSNM01 
Erythrina poeppigianaMountain Immortelle. Madre de CacaoTree25.0 10-12 FLMHNDM103
Erythrina subumbransDadap. December treeTree20.0 10-12 FLMHNDM223
Erythrina vernaMulunguTree12.0 10-12 FLMHNDM042
Erythrina x bidwillii Shrub4.0 7-10  LMHSNM01 
Erythrina zeyheriPrickly CardinalShrub1.0 8-11  LMHSNM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

O.Deg.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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