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Coral Bean

Erythrina flabelliformis

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Tree, shrub, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Hummingbirds
Has Spines Yes
Size
In relative feet, width by height
4-8'+-4-8'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season May-July
Flower Color Red
Minimum Temperature Range 20-25 °F
Leaf Description Fan shaped leaves in pairs of 3.
Fruit Legumes (beans) with bright red, poisonous seeds
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 3000-5500 ft.
Ethnobotany Distinctively red seeds are known to be poisonous, but they make beautiful necklaces.
Description Coral bean is an unusual woody species which grows in the Sky Islands of southeastern Arizona. Plants are found in high desert scrub and grasslands above 4000 ft., especially on the rocky edges of drainages. Further south in Mexico these plants can become small trees, but in Arizona their size is limited by frost pruning. These plants can be tricky to cultivate due to their potential for rot. In the ground they would do well on a mound or in a rock garden, or they can be grown in containers in a cactus/succulent soil. Tubular red blooms appear in late spring before the 3-parted, heart-shaped leaves. Plants can form a caudex (engorged stem base) which looks interesting if exposed in a pot. Beans split to reveal bright red seeds, which can hang on the plant through the winter.