PlantsErythrina→Cherokee Bean (Erythrina herbacea)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Cherokee Bean
Give a thumbs up Coralbean
Give a thumbs up Coral Bean
Give a thumbs up Cardinal Spear
Give a thumbs up Red Cardinal

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8a -12.2 °C (10 °F) to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 10b
Plant Height: 3 to 5 feet
Plant Spread: 3 to 4 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Orange
Other: Coral to scarlet-red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Plant growing in natural habitat in sandy coastal dunes.

Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Feb 18, 2013 6:15 PM

Coralbean is a native perennial here in Florida, growing to 6 feet or more. Here in central Florida I've seen plants growing 8-10 feet tall, but it's reported to attain heights to 20 feet or more in frost-free areas. This shrub has a woody base with prickly, widely spreading stems that die to the ground in freezing weather. Leaves are compound and 4 to 8 inches long with three distinct arrowhead-shaped leaflets that are attached to the prickly stems. The showy flowers are borne on 10-20 inch long spikes in whorls of 1-3 inch long coral to scarlet-red tubular flowers protruding out at right angles from the long flower stalk. The flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

The fruit of Erythrina herbacea is a very attractive 3-7 inch long brownish-black pod that splits open at maturity, revealing many oval bright red seeds.

Coralbean grows in habitats of dry woods, coastal dunes, and thickets. Dappled shade is best, but I have seen this plant growing in full sun, where the leaves are bleached and faded and the plants just don't look as pretty.

*** Note - Be extremely careful with this plant around children and pets. Those beautiful, bright red seeds are attractive and eye-catching ... but extremely poisonous!

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Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Feb 27, 2013 6:33 PM

If you want to attract hummingbirds then this is the plant! The hummingbirds just can't seem to resist it. And the bright red blooms can be seen from a great distance. This is a very tough plant & will take drought like a pro. It will freely volunteer from the seeds it drops but they stay pretty much in the same general area.
Watch out for the thorns on the plant though.
Personally, I love the shape of the leaves as well as their color. The blooms are an added bonus. It is a tidy plant which is not prone to unsightly sprawl.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
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