The Coral Bean, Erythrina x bidwillii, is a colorful addition to any drought tolerant garden. They love the hot Texas heat and bloom like crazy! The blooms are a vibrant red and are wonderful plants to attract hummingbirds as well. Here in Austin and the surrounding area, they will grow more mound like/ bush like, as they will die down in the winter and start anew in the spring. In other areas, they can grow up to be more of a tree form which is really impressive. I have seen some with in other parts of the country that are trees and are simply stunning. In Austin, (unless we have a mild winter) plan for them to die down and start anew. Having said that, they have been known to get rather large here in Austin. There are a few around town that have been around for years and come back year after year. We have one planted in a bed at the nursery, last year it grew about 7 feet tall and right now is loaded with blooms. Those deep velvet red blooms are hard to beat. Once established, they require little attention other than the attention they get from you admiring the blooms and the multitude of hummingbirds that will visit.
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