Coral Bean, Erythrina herbacea

Coral Bean grows mainly in coastal areas and in sandy, open woodlands, clearings, and in naturalized areas. Its main attraction is coral-red flowers in a crescent moon shape which are attractive to hummingbirds. It grows well in loamy clay soils and is often used to add color to a garden area.

Coral bean is a low, glossy-leaved, thorny shrub, growing up to 6 ft. with many herbaceous, annual stems arising from the woody lower stem and perennial root. In cooler zones, it may freeze above ground in winter but will regrow in the spring.

From May to July, upright spikes of showy, tubular flowers appear on the bare branches. The bright-red flowers, up to 12 inches long in spike-like clusters, occur on the upper part of the stem.

Note - not recommended for households with small children. Seeds are poisonous to humans if eaten, and can especially be a problem for children due to their smaller size.

Photo by gailhampshire CC BY 2.0

Sources:,, other authoritative resources and personal experience.