Erythrina abyssinica Lam. ex DC.

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Erythrina abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Erythrina abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Erythrina abyssinica

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Erythrina tomentosa R.Br. ex A. Rich.
Common names: Lucky-bean tree (English) Munhimbiti (Shona) Mutete (Shona) Mutiti (Shona) Mutsiti (Shona) Red-hot-poker tree (English) Umgqogqogqo (Ndebele)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Small to medium sized tree of wooded grassland, open woodland and rocky hillsides. The typically rounded crown is usually leafless at the time of flowering. Leaves 3-foliolate with leaflets almost as broad as long, hairy when young and sometimes with scattered prickles on the underside of the veins. Flowers in spectacular terminal racemes, scarlet-red. Fruit a woody pod, strongly constricted between the seeds.
Notes: The seeds are often used to make necklaces. They contain a poison which can be lethal if injected into the bloodstream but it has no effect if they are swallowed as a whole.
Derivation of specific name: abyssinica: of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Habitat: Wooded grassland, open woodland and rocky hillsides.
Altitude range: (metres) 800 - 1750 m
Flowering time:Jul - Oct
Worldwide distribution: DRC, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Agathodes musivalis (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 6 August 2006

Bingham, M.G. (2011). Erythrina in Zambia Black Lechwe 18(1) Pages 19 - 20. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 161. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 302. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 25.

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 317 - 320. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 34.

Drummond, R.B. (1972). A list of Rhodesian Legumes. Kirkia 8(2) Page 220.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 247.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 98 - 99. (Includes a picture).

Mackinder, B. et al. (2001). Papilionoideae Flora Zambesiaca 3(5)

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 48.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 66.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 99.

Other sources of information about Erythrina abyssinica:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Erythrina abyssinica
Flora of Malawi: Erythrina abyssinica
Flora of Mozambique: Erythrina abyssinica
Flora of Zambia: Erythrina abyssinica
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Erythrina abyssinica

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Erythrina abyssinica
African Plant Database: Erythrina abyssinica
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Erythrina abyssinica
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Erythrina abyssinica
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Erythrina abyssinica
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Erythrina abyssinica
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Erythrina abyssinica
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Erythrina abyssinica
iNaturalist: Erythrina abyssinica
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Erythrina abyssinica
JSTOR Plant Science: Erythrina abyssinica
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Erythrina abyssinica
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Erythrina abyssinica
Plants of the World Online: Erythrina abyssinica
Tropicos: Erythrina abyssinica
Wikipedia: Erythrina abyssinica

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-21

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2021). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Erythrina abyssinica., retrieved 25 October 2021

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