Botanical Name: Erythrina herbacea
Common Name: Coralbean, Cherokee Bean, Red Cardinal
Description: Tall spikes of glowing red to purplish-red, 2-3″ tubular bloom in late spring and summer are held well above the foliage. The red tubular flowers are a magnet for hummingbirds and larger butterflies, the Mamou plant’s primary pollinators. A long-lived, disease, and pest resistant Texas native perennial shrub that can flower for much of late spring and early summer on well-established plants. Sun to part shade. Grows 6-12′ tall and wide. Has thorns.
Pollinated flowers develop super cool long, swollen pods that turn black and curl with age. Towards the end of summer the dark pods split open showing off the bright, shiny red-orange beans that add color to the fall and winter garden. The stems make a nice addition to fall and winter arrangements. Poison garden alert: the beans and much of the plant itself are considered poisonous. Very pretty, very tough, very easy plant to grow.
Fun Fact: Native Americans used the roots and seeds to treat a variety of ailments and extracts. Before you go making some yourself, remember what I said about the Poison Garden Alert.
Hardiness Zones 7-11