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Cherokee Bean, Cardinal Spear, Coral Bean
Scientific Name: Erythrina herbacea Krukoff & Barneby
Synonym:
Family: Fabaceae
Cherokee Bean, Cardinal Spear, Coral Bean (Erythrina  herbacea)
Erythrina herbacea var. nigrorosea at the Huntington Gardens in early July
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 25-33
USDA: 7-10

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Origin: Southeastern USA, Mexico

Growth Habits: Deciduous herb, caudiciform shrub, or small tree, up to 10 feet tall (3 m), 6 feet spread (1.8 m); compound leaves with three trilobed to delta-shaped leaflets, the central one, longest, up to 5 inches long (12.5 cm)

Watering Needs: Little water when established, salt tolerant, needs well drained soil

Propagation: Seeds


The Cherokee Bean seeds are mildly toxic, causing diarrhea and vomiting.

Erythrina herbacea in Art Pacheco's collection in Tucson

Blooming Habits:
The Erythrina herbacea has scarlet flowers, somewhat tubular, in an elongated terminal cluster, up to 2 feet long (60 cm), in spring, that attract hummingbirds.

Fruiting Habits:
Elongated pods, slightly constricted between the seeds, opening to show bright red beans in the fall. The seeds are poisonous, but the young leaves and flowers can be cooked and eaten.

Check for Field Collection numbers at Ralph Martin's Site


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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