E-Mail to Emily


Search EmilyCompost

Emily's Mailbox

Plant Index



Gardening with Kids

Selected Links

Erythrina herbacea
Coral Bean (Cherokee bean or red cardinal)
FABACEAE (the pea family)

Coral BeanThe coral bean is normal seen in south Florida, however there are many sighting in other parts of Florida. Normally grown in zones 8 - 11. It is a very low shrub and can grow to 16 or even 24 inches.

It has is a prickly plant with an odd shaped three-part leaf. In the southern most Florida, it will grow to a sizable tree.

The fruit of the coral bean is a brown pod about 4 - 5 inches long. It will split open and disperse red seeds, which are poisonous.

The blooms are what really catch our attention. They are about two inches, bright red, tubular and in long clusters.

This is a perfect plant for hummingbirds.

It is easy to propagate from scarring the seed or from branch cuttings. Root softwood in the early summer and semi-ripe in the fall.

In general, the coral bean is a pretty tough plant. Their mainstay is from the enlarged woody roots. They survive drought conditions by going dormant.

There are about 100 species throughout the world, some deciduous, semi-deciduous, and evergreen.

A great native plant to add to the habitat.

Tip: Double digging is an excellent way to prepare a bed.