Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 3-20 ft Width: 2-10 ft
Noted for: Showy flowers, showy fruits, thorns
Recommended Uses: Forming a thicket for wildlife protection.
Considerations: It has thorns, but they are rather small. The seeds of Cherokee bean are poisonous and purportedly used for rat poison in Mexico.
Propagation: Scratching the seeds, or rubbing them with a slight abrasive, prior to planting in the spring is recommended--wear gloves to avoid the poison from these seeds. Semi-hardwood cuttings can be rooted.
Availability: Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Salt Tolerance: Highly salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, loam
Soil pH Range: 5.4 to 7.6
Attracts hummingbirds and other long-tongued pollinators. Due to its dense foliage and thorny stems, coral bean serves as a refuge for small birds and animals.
Native Habitats: Dry sites. Upland mixed forest, thickets, tropical hammocks, coastal dunes, sandhill, flatwoods, tropical hammock, pine rocklands. This species can be seen in the picnic area at Alderman Ford County Park in Hillsborough County.
Distribution and Planting Zones
USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures
Suitable to grow in:
Ethnobotany: The women of the Creek tribe used cold infusion of the root for bowel pain. The Mikasuki Seminole used decoction of roots or berries used for horse sickness: nausea, constipation and blocked urination.