Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to model the flexibility of the seven-sugar oligosaccharide of the lectin from Erythrina corallodendron in three separate simulations: one of the isolated oligosaccharide in vacuo, one of the oligosaccharide in solution and one of the oligosaccharide linked to the protein in solution. Adiabatic conformational energy maps were prepared for each of the disaccharide linkages as a means of interpreting the observed dynamics and conformational averages in terms of intramolecular energy. The inclusion of aqueous solvent molecules appears to be necessary to reproduce the experimental conformational behavior, which also cannot be predicted well from conformational energy maps for the disaccharide linkages alone. The crystallographically determined conformation does not appear to be induced by the crystal dimerization, but is rather stable in solution. The build-up of fluctuations along the successive linkages of the oligosaccharide is significant and would be sufficient to prevent branch residues from being located in most crystal structure determinations. Good general agreement between the calculated solution structure and the average structure determined by NMR was found for most of the oligosaccharide linkages.