American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various mostly deciduous trees or shrubs of the genus Erythrina in the pea family, native to and widely cultivated in warm regions, having trifoliolate leaves, showy red or orange flowers, and pods containing often brightly colored seeds. Also called coral bean.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the leguminous genus Erythrina. There are several species, natives of Africa, India, and America. They are shrubs or trees with trifoliolate leaves, and scarlet spikes of papilionaceous flowers, followed by long constricted pods inclosing bright-red seeds. The coral-tree of India is E. Indica; of the West Indies, E. Corallodendron.
- n. A small tree of northern India, North China, Korea, and Japan, Hovenia dulcis, belonging to the buckthorn family. It bears a small fruit consisting of a three-seeded capsule resting on an enlarged, fleshy, arched peduncle, resembling a piece of red coral. This peduncle is edible and contains a sweet juice with a pear-like flavor. Also called
- n. botany Any of the trees of the genus Erythrina.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) a tropical, leguminous plant, of several species, with showy, scarlet blossoms and coral-red seeds. The best known is Erythrina Corallodendron.
- n. any of various shrubs or shrubby trees of the genus Erythrina having trifoliate leaves and racemes of scarlet to coral red flowers and black seeds; cultivated as an ornamental
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