A NEW Florida Native Plant for me!
I recently joined the Florida Native Plant Society. They had a plant sale this past week and I am having a blast learning about all the wonderful plants there are, especially ones that attract wildlife and butterflies. I purchased a bunch of them and on of my favorite leaves is from the "Coral Bean", Erythrina herbacea. The leaves are just beginning to fall off as the plant will go dormant for the winter. It is one example of a native plant that survives in an out-of-the-way place in the landscape with very little effort. It is also called the Cherokee bean or cardinal spear. It is a native legume and grows naturally in hardwood hammocks throughout the southern portions of the United States and on into Mexico. My property is part of a hardwood hammock so I am hoping it does well!
In spring, clusters of bright red tubular flowers up to two inches long are held on leafless spikes well above the foliage. Later in the season,it produces large bean-like pods. The pods split open in fall to reveal bright red seeds that stay attached to the pods for a few weeks. The one major draw back is that the seeds are very poisonous. It is a great attractor of hummingbirds. I can't wait to see it bloom in the spring!
This leaf is available for purchase in my Etsy shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals