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Native Plant Society of Texas

Coralbean

Erythrina herbacea

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Cherokee Bean, Red Cardinal

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Native Habitat: Grassland, Woodland
East Central Texas Plains, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Western Gulf Coastal Plain

Maintenance

Trim dead stem tips after new growth emerges in spring when frost damage becomes evident. Attractive as garden background or on its own. Good understory plant

Comments

Bright red curved flowers in summer attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Black seed pods with protruding red beans secured by threads. Sharp thorns on stems. Unique 3-leaflet alternate leaves. Seeds are poisonous. Freezes back to the ground every winter.

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

6 to
12 ft

Spread

6 to
8 ft

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Acid, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Medium

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Bloom Color

Red

Bloom Season

Spring

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Bees

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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.