Erythrina herbacea L.

Redcardinal, Eastern Coralbean

Family: Leguminosae

Genus: Erythrina

Category: Shrub - Deciduous

Zones: 8 to 10

Size: Herbaceous stems to 3', woody stems to 9' tall

Exposure: Part Shade


Forms woody stems in frost-free areas, otherwise herbaceous. Compound leaves, 3 leaflets with pointed tips. Bright red flowers in spring to early summer, tubular to 2" long in clusters at the tips of stems. Followed by brown seed pods which split open and contain bright red seeds (toxic).


Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 706 in 1753. Lectotype = "Corallodendron humile, spica florum longissima coccinea, radice crassissimo" in Catesby, Nat. Hist. Carolina, 2: 49, t. 49, 1736.

Native to the southeast US and Texas and Mexico.

My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant from Woodlanders in summer 2014 and planted it in the Screen Porch Garden.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner