Plant Spotlight: Cherokee Bean or Coral Bean

Cherokee Bean in Bloom

Despite its name, Cherokee Bean (Erythrina herbacea) is not an edible legume.  Parts of the plant are edible, but it is not advisable to eat them unless you really know what you’re doing because it can be toxic.  However, it is one of the prettiest native plants for landscaping.  When it is not blooming, Cherokee Bean is a fairly unobtrusive plant that blends nicely into the landscape.  It prefers shade, and if planted in the right spot, its the perfect plant to bring a splash of bright color to your yard with little to no effort in care and cultivation. 

Cherokee Bean gets its name from the seed pods that it produces, which are toxic and should not be eaten.  The bright red flowers bloom in the late winter to early spring, and can currently be seen blooming in the areas covered by Natural North Florida.  A great reason to include these plants in your garden is the fact they are one of the best ways to attract hummingbirds to your garden.

One comment on “Plant Spotlight: Cherokee Bean or Coral Bean

  • As a small child (possibly 8 or nine) I picked the coral beans from the plant and made my mother a necklace which she receive graciously and sweetly–In my eyes, I had made her a beautiful thing.
    Time passed and if I had ever known the name of the plant, I no longer did so, while reading the Yearling, I found a description of the Cherokee Bean–Then I went to the internet and presto, I now know what I used to make the necklace of so long so–A beautiful plant yet one to be careful around for the seeds are toxic according to the internet sites
    It was nice to see the pictures of the plant and remember over some 60 years, the feeling of giving the necklace to my mother God Bless and have a beautiful day Vivian Bell Jones

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