Erythrina subumbrans are an ecologically important tree species with cultural and medicinal significance. Here’s how to grow them easily.
Popular as the Dwarf Cockspur Coral Tree, Erythrina subumbrans is a small to medium size specimen that belongs to the family Fabaceae. The best part is, it grows well in the Indian climate. Let’s have a look at how to maintain it easily.
Check Out How to Grow Cordia Sebestena in India here
Erythrina subumbrans Information
Erythrina subumbrans typically grow up to 30-50 feet tall and has a dense, spreading crown with numerous branches armed with stout spines. The bark of the tree is smooth and grey, with conspicuous lenticels. It also produces showy, colorful red flowers in large, drooping clusters at the ends of the branches.
The tree is an essential species, providing food and habitat for various wildlife, including birds, bats, and insects. Erythrina subumbrans nectar-rich flowers are beautiful to hummingbirds and other pollinators. Its wood is also famous for various purposes, including construction, furniture-making, and fuelwood.
In some cultures, Erythrina subumbrans is popular in several traditional ceremonies and rituals. People also grow it for its medicinal properties, as its bark, leaves, and flowers have uses to treat various ailments, including fever, pain, and inflammation.
How to Grow Erythrina Subumbran?
- Collect mature seed pods from Erythrina subumbrans. The pods should be brown and dry, and the seeds should be dark and complex.
- Erythrina subumbrans seeds have a hard coat that can prevent water and air from penetrating, making germination difficult. To break the seed coat, scarify the seeds by nicking the surface of the seed with a knife or rubbing it gently with sandpaper.
- Place the scarified seeds in warm water and let them soak overnight. This will help to soften the seed coat and improve germination rates.
- Plant the seeds in a well-draining potting mix, burying them about 1 inch deep in the soil. Water the soil well, and place the pot in a warm, bright location.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Water the pot when the top inch of the soil feels dry.
- When the seedlings have grown 6-8 inches tall, transplant them to a larger container or into the ground.
Check Out How to Grow Ixora Chinensis in India here
Requirements to Grow Erythrina subumbrans
Erythrina subumbrans grows best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers bright, indirect light for at least 6 hours a day. The tree can tolerate some shade but may not flower as well as it will in full sunlight exposure.
The tree tolerate various soil types: sandy, loamy, and clay. However, for the best growth, use well-draining soil that are rich in organic matter. The pH should be between 6.0 and 7.5.
Erythrina subumbrans require regular watering, especially during the dry season. Water the tree deeply once a week or more often if the soil is dry. Do this till it reaches to a height of about 4-5 feet – after which, it will take care of its own.
This tree prefers warm, tropical climates with temperatures between 20 and 38 degrees Celsius. Erythrina subumbrans can also tolerate brief periods of cold but not much.
Check Out How to Grow Murraya Paniculata in India here
Erythrina Subumbrans Care
Erythrina subumbrans will grow really well without any feed. To boost the growth, you can feed it with a balanced liquid fertlizer, once in 2 months.
The tree is easy to maintain and requires minimal pruning, but can benefit from occasional shaping to remove dead or damaged branches. Prune during the dormant season to minimize stress.
Pests and Diseases
The tree is susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects, which can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. In addition, Erythrina subumbrans is susceptible to powdery mildew, which can be treated with a fungicide.
Also, be careful of root rot, which can be prevented by avoiding waterlogged soil and providing good drainage.
Check Out How to Grow Alpinia Zerumbet in India here
Advantages of Erythrina subumbrans
- Various parts of the Erythrina subumbrans tree have medicinal properties. For example, people use the bark and leaves to treat various ailments such as fever, pain, and inflammation.
- The tree is popular in habitat restoration projects to help reestablish ecosystems.
- Its bright red flowers are an essential source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. This makes the tree a valuable addition to pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes.
- Its wood is lightweight and durable and is often used in furniture making and carpentry. The tree is also used as a source of firewood and charcoal.
- The tree has a deep root system that can help to prevent soil erosion on steep slopes and other vulnerable areas.