Friday, June 10, 2016

Plant Profile-Coral Bean Plant

Today is the second installment 
in our June series on native plants.
Each Friday, we will profile a plant
that thrives in our area (zone 9b).

Today the featured star is the 
coral bean plant.

The coral bean plant is a native to most parts of Florida,
but can be grown anywhere from zones 7b to 11,
all along the southeastern coast and into Texas.
Its clover-like leaves are abundant, 
although it does lose its leaves in colder climates.
On the branches you will find numerous thorns,
so handle this baby with gloves.

This Florida native will range in height from 8-10 feet tall,
and expand outwards up to 12 feet wide,
so give it lots of space to grow.
It makes the perfect specimen plant,
but can also be clustered to form a protective hedge
and safe haven for wildlife.

The brilliant scarlet flowers act as a
hummingbird attractor
 and butterflies make frequent visits
to enjoy its nectar.
Our coral bean is planted in full sun,
but it tolerates partial shade well.
This drought-tolerant native isn't too fussy,
needing little in the way of fertilizing or supplemental watering.
The seed pods form in the flower petals
and are easily accessed once the petals drop.
The seeds are considered poisonous if ingested,
something to keep in mind with children and pets.

We've enjoyed watching this native 
change through the seasons.
It's no wonder that hummers find it fascinating!

It pays to go native!

Other plants in this series:

Plant Profile-Blanketflower 

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