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The ceibo (seíbo), or Erythrina cristagalli, is a tree common in well-watered areas of central and northern Argentina. The cockspur coral tree or cockspur coral bean tree is bushy and thorny, with wide, lustrous, dark green leaves about four inches (ten centimeters) long and three inches wide. It sprouts bright red blooms and beanlike pods. It generally grows to twenty or thirty feet in height but can reach eighty feet. Residents of the Río de la Plata developed many medicinal uses for the tree, including bathing wounds, gargling, and treating hemorrhoids.

See alsoMedicinal Plants .


Coluccio, Félix. Diccionario folklórico argentino, vol. 1. Buenos Aires: Lasserre, 1964.

Oitaven, Alberto V. El ceibo: Flor nacional Argentina. La Plata, Argentina: Estrella, 1943.

                                     Richard W. Slatta