Erythrina flabelliformis – Coralbean

Erythrina flabelliformis - Coralbean, Southwestern Coral Bean (flowers)

Erythrina flabelliformis - Coralbean, Southwestern Coral Bean (flowers)Erythrina flabelliformis - Coralbean, Southwestern Coral Bean (red beans)

Erythrina flabelliformis - Coralbean, Southwestern Coral Bean (open seedpods)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Erythrina flabelliformis

Common Names: Coralbean, Southwestern Coral Bean

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Deciduous

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: Red

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer

Height: To 15 feet (4.6 m) tall, but usually much less here in Arizona due to frosts and limited rainfall

Description: The 3 inch (7.6 cm) long, tubular flowers are in showy terminal clusters at the tips of the woody stems. The flowers often appear before the plants leaf out and are followed by large, brown pods with several large, attractive, highly toxic, red beans. When they are present, the green leaves are divided into 3 fan-shaped leaflets. There are short, curved spines on the stems and leafstalks.

Special Characteristics

Hummingbird Flower – The nectar-filled flowers attract hummingbirds.

Poisonous – All parts of this plant are poisonous, but the red beans are by far the most highly toxic. This plant contains Erythrina alkaloids, which include the curare-like beta-erythroidine. Warning: The brightly colored beans are very attractive to children.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae – Pea family
Genus: Erythrina L. – erythrina
Species: Erythrina flabelliformis Kearney – coralbean

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map