Leaves: Although Coralbean is leafless and inconspicuous most of the year (approximately for nine months), however the triangular leaflets are green, fan shaped and turn a golden hue in the fall; as with the stems, the leaf stalks are also prickly.
Flower Color: Coralbean has large striking red tubular flowers that are dramatic even from a distance; the fruit is a brown pod with toxic showy red or dark orange seeds.
Flowering Season: Spring and late summer after sufficient monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: 3,000 to 5,500 feet (914-1,676 m).
Habitat Preferences: Dry rocky slopes, washes and in canyons.
Recorded Range: Coralbean is rare in the United States where it is native only to southern Arizona (Pima and Santa Cruz Counties) and southwest and southeast New Mexico. It is also native to Baja California and northern and central Mexico.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico and Texas each have 1 species of Erythrina, California, Nevada and Utah have 0 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
Comments: Both a beautiful and relatively rare tree, shrub or sub-shrub in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. Most members of Erythrina and found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Erythrina is an important horticulture plant because of their beautiful brilliant red flowers. A common landscape and road-side plant in southern California.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Coralbean, Erythrina flabelliformis has attractive flowers, the flowers, their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents in search of food, nectar and protection through cover.
Coralbean, Erythrina flabelliformis is known to be pollinated by hummingbirds.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Coralbean, Erythrina flabelliformis has attractive flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited or used by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, native bees and other insects in search of nectar, food or shelter and protection.
The genus “Erythrina” is from the Greek derivative meaning "red"; a reference to the color of the flowers.