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Red Cardinal Erythrina herbacea

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Erythrina arborea
Phonetic Spelling
er-ih-THREE-nah her-BAY-see-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This herbal perennial shrub grows mainly in coastal areas and in sandy, open woodlands and clearings. It can be used in a naturalized area as a cultivated flowering shrub. It  coral-red flowers shaped like cresent moons are attractive to wildlife such as hummingbirds. It tolerates loamy clay soils. It is often used to add color to a garden area.

The plant may freeze above ground in winter but will regrow in the spring.

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#red#tropical#showy flowers#poisonous#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#red flowers#nectar plant#winter interest#fall interest#coastal#glossy leaves#native garden#prickly#long bloom time#naturalizes#thorny#pollinator plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#red#tropical#showy flowers#poisonous#perennial#wildlife plant#showy#red flowers#nectar plant#winter interest#fall interest#coastal#glossy leaves#native garden#prickly#long bloom time#naturalizes#thorny#pollinator plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Erythrina
    Species:
    herbacea
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Necklaces are made from the seeds though they should be kept away from children.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico and southern USA
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds.
    Edibility:
    Caution is encouraged in human use as an herb. Flowers and young leaves may be cooked and eaten, however, all parts of the plant have low toxicity. Symptoms mainly occur with ingestion of seeds. Symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea; prior to modern medicine concoctions from the plant were used to relieve constipation.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    A persistent 8 1/2" long black bean pod constricted between red beans.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    asymmetrical petals
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    Flowers appear before leaves in spring, are in an elongated terminal cluster, somewhat tube-shaped, and scarlet in color. Their bloom can be up to 12 inches long with 5 fused sepals and 5 petals. The upper petal wraps around the 4 other petals.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Long-petioled leaflets are arrowhead shaped, veined and 3"-5" inches long and 3 1/2"-4" inches wide, and can be prickly underneath.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, diarrhea
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids and cyanogenic glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds