Everglades Flowers: Coral Bean

coral beanThe coral bean is a native flower plant to the Everglades. It blooms from spring until fall. It has red, tubular flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. In the fall, its seed pods mature and turn nearly black. These seed pods split open to reveal red seeds inside. The coral bean’s seeds are poisonous.

During the winter, it freezes to the ground. In the Everglades and South Florida, this flowering plant grows as a large deciduous shrub or small tree while in North or Central Florida it grows as a large perennial; it can grow up to six feet tall.

This plant is beautiful when it flowers, but it’s actually not that attractive of a plant when the flowers are gone. It is known to look sparse and ragged.

Coral bean thrives in well-drained, sandy soil with full sun or a little shade. It is a salt-tolerant plant.

If you boil the flowers and young leaves, they are edible. The coral bean flower has six antioxidants in it, so it is healthy. The plant tastes like mild spinach. Remember, the seeds are not edible. In fact, in Mexico, the seeds are used to poison rats and fish.

This plant always turns its leaves towards the sun.

This plant is also known as the Cherokee Bean.


Explore the Everglades by Private Airboat Tour

There are so many reasons why the Everglades is a beautiful and magical place. One of these reasons is the flowers. Pictures don’t do the Everglades’ plants and flowers justice. You must see it in person to truly grasp the beauty.

A great way to view flowers in the Everglades is on an airboat tour. Even if you don’t see a coral bean, there will be so many other flowers you will see and learn about on your trip.

If you’re ready to explore the Everglades, do so by private airboat! It’s an experience you’ll never forget.  To book an airboat tour, call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 800-368-0065 or click our Private Everglades Airboat Tours page.