The long tubular flowers of coralbean (Erythrina herbacea) are pollinated by hummingbirds and ‘long-tongued’ butterflies. Different shaped flowers (& floral colors) attract different kinds of pollinators, so plant a variety of shapes & colors of flowers in your landscape.
Coralbeans flower in the winter and early spring when other nectar resources are limited. Their flowering can be quite variable. The coral seeds of this member of the Fabaceae (pea) family were just about the fall from the seedpods (seen below) when a few of us visited Archbold Biological Station in mid-March — when some coralbeans had not yet begun to flower here in Vero Beach.
The seedpods on a large coralbean had just opened in the yard of Marta and Mike Kendrick visited by the Eugenia Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society in mid-May …
Their coralbean is a substantially sized tree, as you can tell from its trunk …
Pollinators come in a diversity of shapes and sizes, including the ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris), the most common “hummer” in Florida, which have been seen visiting the coralbean at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. Pollinator plants also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The old adage, Variety is the spice of life, is true for pollinators, too.
Leave a Reply