Erythrina variegata

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Tiger's claw
Tree I IMG 6180.jpg
Tree in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Erythrina
Species: E. variegata
Binomial name
Erythrina variegata

Erythrina variegata (syn. E. indica Lam., E. variegata var. orientalis (L.) Merr.; tiger's claw, Indian coral tree and sunshine tree; Tamil: Murukku, முருக்கு;Pali: pāricchattaka; Sanskrit: pārijāta, पारिजात) is a species of Erythrina native to the tropical and subtropical regions of eastern Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, northern Australia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean east to Fiji.[1]


E. variegata is a thorny deciduous tree growing to 27 m (89 ft) tall. The leaves are pinnate with a 20 cm (7.9 in) petiole and three leaflets, each leaflet up to 20 cm (7.9 in) long and broad. It has dense clusters of scarlet or crimson flowers and black seeds.[2]


Erythrina variegata is valued as an ornamental tree. Several cultivars have been selected, including 'Alba' with white flowers.[2]

In Vietnam, the leaves are used to wrap fermented meat (Vietnamese: nem).

E. variegata is known as dapdap in the Philippines where its bark and leaves are used in alternative medicine.[3] In Siddha medicine, it is used especially for menstrual disorders and fissures at penis tip (Tamil: ஆண்குறிப்புண்).[citation needed]

E. variegata is often used in agroforestry systems. It can be used for fodder as its foliage has a good nutritive value for most livestock.[4]

Cultural impact[edit]


E. variegata was designated the official flower of Okinawa Prefecture in 1967. The deigo flower features in the popular song "Shima Uta" by The Boom, one of the most well-known songs associated with Okinawa. In addition, the use of the wood of the deigo tree is one of the unique characteristics of Ryukyuan lacquerware.

In Sri Lanka, the blossoming flowers of the tree are associated with the advent of the Sri Lankan(April) New Year. The plant is known as Erabadu in Sinhalese.[5]


  1. ^ "Erythrina variegata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-47494-5. 
  3. ^ "Dapdap / Erythrina variegata / Indian coral tree: Philippine Medicinal Herbs / Philippine Alternative Medicine". Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  4. ^ Heuzé V., Thiollet H., Tran G., Edouard N., Lebas F., 2018. Coral tree (Erythrina variegata). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO.

External links[edit]