Coral Tree (Erythrina corrallodendron) potted tree, organic
Family: Legume (Fabaceae)
Hardy to Zones 9 to 12, otherwise grown as a potted tree and brought indoors for the winter
(Coral Bean Tree, Immortel) Woody perennial shrub to small tree to 25 feet, native to the Caribbean. Flowers extraordinarily showy and large, deep-red, with seeds bright orange-red. Used as a barrier species in the tropics, these are somewhat spiny, and can make impenetrable hedges. Traditional uses (West Indies): Bark, leaves and seeds are TOXIC but are still used in traditional medicine. Internal use not recommended! Source of curare-like alkaloids. Source of nectar that feeds tropical bird species. Personal note: I first encountered this tree on a family vacation in Texas when I was very young. My mom asked the interpreter “What kind of tree is this,” as it was very showy, and had caught our attention. “Why, that’s a BANE tree,” he said. His Texan accent made it sound like he said BANE instead of BEAN. It took us quite awhile to interpret what he meant, but after that, we often called beans BANES, which reminded us of that special moment standing there with those spectacular flowers. Space trees about 10 feet apart, closer for a hedge, or keep in a 3-gallon pot almost indefinitely.
Potted tree as pictured, certified organically grown