Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Erythrina vespertilio Benth.
Bentham, G. (1848) Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia : 218. Type: Subtropical New Holland. Fide Krukoff & Barneby (1974).
Coral Tree; Cork Tree; Bat-wing Coral Tree; Batswing Coral Tree; Brake-block Pine; Corkwood; Grey Corkwood; Pine, Brake-block; Heilaman Tree
Pairs of globular or cylindrical glands present on the upper surface of the compound leaf axis where the middle and lateral leaflets are attached. Leaflet blades about 3-10 x 6.5-12 cm. Leaf bearing twigs sometimes densely beset with spines but sometimes completely free of spines.
Taproot thickened, carrot-like (Daucus carota). Cotyledons fleshy, about 15-17 x 5-6 mm, not or scarcely raised above the soil surface. First pair of leaves triangular. At the tenth leaf stage: leaflet blades triangular or broadly bilobed like butterfly wings, base cuneate or broadly cuneate; petiole and rhachis usually with a few small thorns; stipules about 2-3 mm long; stem often with a few small recurved thorns. Seed germination time 8 to 10 days.
Endemic to Australia (?), occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to north-eastern New South Wales, also occurs in central Australia. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 800 m. Grows in open forest and monsoon forest.
This plant was used in colonial medicine, leaves a reputed sedative. Cribb (1981).