General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Shrub
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
Red
Other: Coral to scarlet-red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
2"-3"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Spring
Late spring or early summer
Summer
Winter
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Suitable for wintersowing
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Tip
Division
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Image
Common names
  • Cherokee Bean
  • Coralbean
  • Coral Bean
  • Cardinal Spear
  • Red Cardinal

Photo Gallery
Location: Johns Island, SC
Date: 2015-05-22
Location: Flagler Beach, FL zone 9a
Date: 2019-04-19
Plant growing in natural habitat in sandy coastal dunes.
Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.
Date: Spring 2010
The color of these flowers is amamzing.
Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.
Date: Spring 2010
Close up of the lovely flowers.
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-04-12
entire plant in bloom
Location: Test garden 
Date: 2016-04-29
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-05-03
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-03-29
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2016-04-13
Location: Kyle, Texas
Date: 2018-05-17
When in bloom, a striking plant with its "lipstick" flowers
Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.
Date: Spring 2010
Flower buds.
Location: Bexar Co., Texas
Date: March 26, 2013
Coralbean
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-03-14
close up of leaves
Location: My house Nacogdoches, Tx
Date: 2012-05-15
Location: Plano, TX
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-03-29
Location: zone 8 North Central, Fl.
Date: 2017-12-23
Location: Tampa, FL
Date: 2014-10-26
At the Museum of Science and Industry
Location: Plano, TX
Location: zone 8/9 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2011-11-09
Location: zone 8/9 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2011-11-09
Location: Plano, TX
Date: 2016-09-07
Location: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida
Date: 2014-03-01
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2013-06-05
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-03-14
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-03-14
Location: My house Nacogdoches, Tx
Date: 2013-06-01
Location: zone 8 Lake City, Fl.
Date: 2012-06-29
seeds & ripe seed pods
Location: Tampa, FL
Date: 2015-03-22
Growing in the butterfly garden at MOSI
Comments:
  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Feb 18, 2013 6:15 PM concerning plant:
    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!
  • Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Feb 27, 2013 6:33 PM concerning plant:
    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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