Erythrina herbacea - Cherokee bean, Coral bean
Over one hundred species of Erythrina are native to warm climate regions around the world. They
are shrubs and trees, often with showy flowers. The coral bean is native to the
eastern United States
and northern Mexico.
It has long spikes of tubular red flowers at its branch tips in spring. Flowers
are followed by thin, bean-like pods that split at maturity to display bright
red seeds. Hummingbirds are attracted to these flowers. The compound leaves
have three distinctively triangular leaflets. The leaf stalks and stems are
In warmer climates, Erythrina
species are large enough for wood to have uses. The book, Florida Ethnobotany, devotes two pages to the traditional uses of
this plant. Like many plants with medicinal uses, this plant can be fatally
See this plant on the south side of Building 2 and the Golf Learning Center.
Medium-sized shrub to about four feet tall or more.
Light: sun, part shade
Water: well-drained soil, drought tolerant
Soil: adaptable to soil types, no other special requirements
This native plant grows well in Florida in a sunny to partly shady site in any reasonably well-drained soil. In north Florida, it usually dies to the ground in winter and resprouts in spring.