Indian Coral Tree
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Indian Coral Tree
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Indian Coral Tree, Lenten tree, Tiger claw • Hindi: Pangara पंगार • Kannada: ಹಾರುವಾಳ Haaruvaala, ಹಾರುವಾಣ Haaruvaana, ಹಾರಿವಾಣ Haarivaana, ಹೊಂಗರ Hongara, ಮುಳ್ಳುಮರಿಗೆ Mullumarige • Manipuri: ꯀꯨꯔꯥꯑꯣ Kurao • Tamil: கல்யாண முருஂகை Kalyana murungai • Tangkhul: Thikchowon kahunga • Mizo: Fartuah
Botanical name: Erythrina variegata    Family: Fabaceae (pea family)
Synonyms: Erythrina indica, Erythrina alba, Erythrina orientalis

Indian Coral Tree is a showy, spreading tree legume with brilliant red or white blossoms. This highly valued ornamental has been described as one of the gems of the floral world. It is a picturesque, broad and spreading, deciduous tree that can get 60-80 ft tall and spread 20-40 ft It has many stout branches that are armed with black tiger's claw spines. There are curved spines (really more like prickles) on the long leaf stalks too. The leaves are compound, with three diamond shaped leaflets, each about 6 in long. Before the leaves come out in late winter or early spring, coral tree puts on a spectacular show with bright crimson flowers 2-3 in long in dense terminal clusters. It may flower a little during the summer, too. The beanlike pods that follow the flowers are cylindrical, about 15 in long, and constricted between the reddish brown seeds.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi, Imphal & Jhrakhand.

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