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Coralbean

Erythrina herbacea

Other common name(s):

Cherokee Bean, Red Cardinal

Family:

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

East Central Texas Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies
Flatwoods, Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

6
to
12
ft.

Spread

6
to
8
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Acid, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Medium

Native Habitat

Grassland, Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Red

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Nectar

Wildlife Benefit

Hummingbirds

Maintenance

Trim dead stem tips after new growth emerges in spring if there is frost damage. Attractive as garden background or on its own. Often dies back in the winter only to appear bushier in the spring. Good understory plant, Propagation: Seeds, Semi-hardwood cuttings, Root division.

Comments

Blooms March-June. Coralbean is a low, thorny shrub. Bright red curved flowers start to bloom in the spring before the leaves appear. The leaflets are distinctively arrowhead-shaped and spiny underneath. The stems are also spiny. Black seed pods break open to show red beans. The seeds are poisonous and should be avoided. Attracts hummingbirds.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Sybonym/s: Erythrina arborea

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 242. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ERHE4. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=11050&locationType=County&mapType=Normal., 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=26678#null, 6) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.