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Coral Bean


Erythrina bidwillii (E. herbacea x E. crista Galli)

This plant is a small deciduous tree or multi-stemmed shrub that can grow to as tall as 18 feet but is typically seen as an 8-foot shrub. It blooms continually on the new growth from spring through winter, with peak flowering in the summer months. The tiny 2" long dark red flowers are on long 2-foot long terminal racemes that arch out and above the foliage on 6-foot long stems. Trim back after flowering and prune hard in winter to maintain shape. This plant inherits hardiness from its parentage (E. herbacea x E. crista-Galli), hardy to 20° F without damage, and root hardy below this. It is listed for USDA Zones 7b to 10b, which is unusual for a Coral Tree! This excellent garden plant is one of the best and most small coral trees. It is typically seen as a shrub, making a lovely miniature tree with time and some training.

This plant resulted from a cross between Erythrina herbacea, a North American species, and Erythrina crista-Galli from South America. William Macarthur first did this hybrid in the early 1840s at Camden Park in Australia. Macarthur was one of the most active and influential horticulturists of his time in Australia, and he originally named the plant Erythrina Camden. The English botanist John Carne Bidwill, then living in Sydney, sent a plant to the botanist William Herbert in England, suggesting Erythrina macarthuri to honor its originator.


Height: 6’-15'
Spread: 6’-10'
Bloom: Spring-Summer
Light: Full sun
Water: Low
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Origin: Hybrid

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