Coral tree

Family • Papillonaceae - Erythrina crista-galli Linn. - CRY BABY TREE

Common names

Coral tree (Engl.)
Cockspur coral tree (Engl.)
Ceibo (South Amer.)
Cry baby tree (Engl.)


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Analgesic properties of extracts and fractions from Erythrina crista-galli (Fabaceae) leaves / Luiz G O Fisher et al / Natural Product Research, Volume 21, Issue 8 July 2007 , pages 759 – 766 / DOI: 10.1080/14786410601130554

(2) Antimicrobial isoflavonoids from Erythrina crista galli infected with Phomopsis sp. / Research article summary (published 27 Feb 2007)


A flowering medium-sized tree, growing to a height of 5-8 meters.. The trunk is woody with irregular spiny branches. Leaves have three leaflets, smooth, alternate, up to 6 cm long. Leaflets are dark green, elliptic, acute with entire margins. Flowers are papilionate, petals 5 cm long, separate stamens about 1 cm long. Fruits are woody, elongated, cylindrical, up to 3 cm long.

Native to South America.
Grown in Baguio gardens.

Properties and constituents
Contains an alkaloid with powerful narcotic and purgative effects.
Contains mellein, nectriapyrone, 4-hydroxymellein, scyoalone, tyrosol, clavatol, mevinic acid, and mevalonolactone.

Parts utilized 
Bark, root.

In the Philippines, not known for any medicinal use.
• In Argentina, used as anti-inflammatory and for treatment of wounds.
• In Brazil, several Erythrina species are used by indigenous tribes in Brazil as insecticides, fish poison, medicine, and sleep aid.


Study Findings
• Analgesic: Analgesic properties of extracts and fractions from Erythrina crista-galli (Fabaceae) leaves: The study describes the analgesic activity of extracts from Erythrina crista-galli leaves in experimental mice models.
• Antimicrobial / Isoflavonoids: Study isolated isoflavonoids coumestrol, genistein and daidzein from the acetone extract of E crista-galli leaves. The compounds showed antimicrobial activity against Bacillus brevis.
• Phomol / Antiinfllamatory: The majority of endophytes isolated from different collections of E crista-galli are species of the genus Phomopsis. Phomol, a novel antibiotic, was isolated from an endophytic fungi from the medicinal plant E crista-galli.