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Erythrina bidwillii

Erythrina bidwillii
coral bean
Erythrina bidwillii

Common name coral bean
Family fabaceae
Life cycle shrub (Z9-11)
Flowers red (late spring-summer)
Size 8'
Light sun
Cultural notes drought tolerant
From seed Nick seed, germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below

Some taxonomical contradictions here: my taxonomy sources consider this a species, and the nursery where we purchased our specimen sells it as a native plant – yet several other online sources describe how this is a hybrid between E. crista-galli and E. herbacea, concocted in Australia (so hardly native to Texas). In any case, it produces eye-popping red pea flowers once it gets going in summer. The timing of flowering depends on how much the plant was set back by winter cold – in its first full year in our garden, which featured a harsh freeze in January, blooming didn't start till August, but in the years that followed, with milder winters, it bloomed by the middle of spring. Nasty thorns on this one, so we grow it well away from the front of the border. By the end of its second year in our garden, it grew to about 8 foot – taller than the 6-foot height I'd found in a reference for this species/variety.

coral bean
Erythrina bidwillii
New growth from base, mid-March
coral bean
Seedpods developing in mid-October
Erythrina bidwillii
Newly planted nursery specimen (October 2017)

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: back fence border

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '20 garden. File-nicked. Baggy 70F (100%G, 15-24d)

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Last modified: December 29, 2020
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