PNGTreesKey – Erythrina merrilliana Krukoff


Barry Conn (NSW) & Kipiro Damas (LAE).
Guide to trees of Papua New Guinea
Copyright held by the authors, National Herbarium of New South Wales, and Papua New Guinea National Herbarium

Erythrina merrilliana Krukoff

Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 20: 227 (1939)

Other Literature: B. Verdcourt, A Manual of New Guinea Legumes 425 (1979) Fig. 99.

Family: Fabaceae

Timber Group: Non-timber species

Field Characters: Large canopy tree (10-21 m high) or Small sub-canopy tree; Bole cylindrical (50-170 cm diam.); straight (bole up to 20 high); buttresses buttresses absent; spines spines present (thorns); on trunk or on branches; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark pale green, grey (mottled), or brown (glossy), slightly rough or smooth, slightly fissured; Subrhytidome (under-bark) orange, green, or mottled; less than 25 mm thick, 5.0-9.0; bark blaze consisting of one layer; faintly to non-aromatic; outer blaze white (with dark straw-coloured) or orange (tinge), markings absent; inner blaze white (dark straw-coloured) or orange (tinge), markings absent; bark exudate (sap) present, white/milky or pale yellow, not readily flowing (spotty), colour not changing on exposure to air, sticky; terminal buds not enclosed by leaves.

Indumentum: Complex hairs present, star-like (stellate); stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) present or absent when old, hairs dense to sparse when young.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches, spiral (leaves occurring singly at a node and arranged spirally up the branchlet), compound (a leaf made up from two or more leaflets); petiole present, not winged, attached to base of leaf blade, not swollen; leaves with three leaflets (trifoliate); petiolule not swollen; leaves with a terminal leaflet (the number of leaflets odd - imparipinnate), broadest below middle, 4.0-20.0 cm, 3.0-21.0 cm, leaflets arranged from one point, symmetric, terminal developing leaflet buds absent; venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; leaves lower surface pale green, upper surface green, indumentum (hairs) present, indumentum (hairs) dense to sparse; present; domatia absent; stipules absent.

Flowers: Inflorescence axillary (crowded on upper half of stout inflorescences (flowers leafless branchlets), flowers on an unbranched axis, cones absent; flowers bisexual, stalked, flowers with one plane of symmetry, 60.0-85.0 mm long, diameter large (more than10 mm diam.); perianth present, with distinct sepals and petals whorls, inner perianth bright orange or pale red; 4-5, some or partly joined; stamens 10, present, joined, free of the perianth; ovary superior, carpels joined (when more than one), locules 1; styles solitary, 1.

Fruits: Infrutescence arranged on unbranched axis, fruit 100.0-150.0 mm long, brown, not spiny, non-fleshy, simple, dehiscent, legume or loment (often somewhat twisted); seeds 3-(bright red)-8, about 10 mm long (10-12 mm long), not winged, narrow (longer than wide), seed 1-10 mm diam. (6-7 mm wide).

Distribution: Madang, Morobe & Central.

Erythrina merrilliana
Botanical records
in PNGplants database

Map details

Illustrator: F. Owner.

Notes: Notes This species is classified in Fabaceae subfamily Faboideae.