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Erythrina crista-galli L. Fabaceae. Cockspur coral tree. Distribution: South America. The national tree of Argentina, its flowers are pollinated by perching birds unlike many other species which are pollinated by humming birds. An extract from the bark is used as a powerful soporific, also as a gargle for sore throats and in the treatment of cuts, rheumatism and hepatitis, in Brazil (Mors, 1998). The seed contains the alkaloid beta-erythroidine. Analgesics, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory substances are being sought from the leaves. Curare-like action in rats has been reported from the seeds. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.