Erytrhina fusca

Viable seeds / kg (approx.): 1,650

Minimum purchase: 250 g


E. fusca is native to Central and South
America. It is a pioneer species, of medium to large size, that reaches heights
of 10-15 m. It is widely cultivated as a shade tree for coffee and cocoa
plantations, as a tutor of crops and as an ornamental, highly appreciated by
its good adaptation to humid places, where coffee and cacao generally grow.


The wood is soft and light, and is not suitable for most uses.
Therefore, it is used mainly as an important component in agroforestry systems,
in particular to combine with perennial crops, as shade tree and support. It is
also highly appreciated for soil improvement, for the amount of litter it
provides and the recycling of nutrients, in living fences and as an ornamental
in parks and along roads.


It grows at altitudes of 0-2000 masl, with mean annual rainfall of
1200-3000 mm per year.


The species is tolerant to infertile and flooded soils. It has shown good
growth in acid soils, with pH of 4.3 and it can also resist prolonged droughts.

Seeds and nursery

It does not require pre-germination treatment. For the seedbed it is
recommended to use a loose substrate such as river sand, well washed and
disinfected. The seed must be distributed evenly or in rows separated by 2 cm,
sowing superficially. Germination occurs after 8-12 days. The seedlings can be
transplanted as soon as they reach 3-5 cm in height and the first true leaves
appear. The root is usually very long, so it must be pruned to about 3 cm in
length. When transplanting, be sure to make a hole deep enough in the substrate
to avoid curving up of the roots. Shade should be provided for the first 2-3
weeks after transplanting, for instance using shade clothing (saran) 50%. Plants
will be ready for field planting after 3-4 months or when they have a height of
15 to 20 cm. A couple of weeks before planting out in the field it is
recommended to reduce watering to stimulate the lignification of the stems. It
can also be produced by direct sowing, small cuttings or long stakes, up to 2 m
in length.

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Banco de Semillas Forestales

Costa Rica

USD 72/kg