Native coralbean is a rambling, lanky shrub with strikingly beautiful, dark red blooms in early summer. The floral spikes can be up to one foot long, jutting out into the sky like a hummingbird antenna.
Those flowers turn into long pods, and the bright red seeds inside are poisonous if ingested, so if you have children or pets, it would be safest to remove them as quickly as possible.
Coralbean is also pretty thorny, which may be hard to notice behind its attractive, glossy green, heart-shaped leaves.
Listed hardy to USDA Zone 7, it will easily take the roughest of Central Texas cold snaps. However, when temps get below freezing for any extended period of time, coralbean will be a perennial, dying back to the ground. Simply clean it up from the base after the last frost date.
In warmer areas, coralbean is deciduous, and can get up to 25 feet tall if conditions are ideal. But when it’s perennial, it normally only gets about 5 feet high.
As it matures, it will come back wider each year, potentially spreading to 20 feet across once fully grown.
Coralbean can take the hottest, driest of spots, and isn’t picky about soil type, making it a great choice for most gardens.
Viewer Picture goes to Jackie Baltrun for her outstanding shot of a bumble bee on mealy blue sage. Hummingbirds love this plant, too! But deer avoid it, which makes it a great plant for Jackie in her deerly beloved neighborhood!