Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Erythrina herbacea L.

Frost-hardy, semi-herbaceous, woody-based perennial with leaves composed of 3 leaflets and terminal racemes, to 60cm long, of deep scarlet flowers, to 5cm long, in summer and autumn.  To 1m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It has a thick fleshy root, which throws up several stems: these grow sometimes to two or three feet in height, and die off each year.  The flower shoots commonly proceed immediately from the root without any leaves: they come out in the spring months, and are very splendid.’  [LBC no.851/1824].  ‘The branches though they appear shrubby are annual, dying in general down to the root-stock every winter; yet it sometimes happens that a branch does not perish in this manner, but continuing to vegetate becomes as it were an elongation of the root stock, and thus the plant puts on somewhat of the habit of Erythrina corallodendron.’  [BM t.877/1805].  Introduced to Europe in 1724.  [Don].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.428/1843].


Published Dec 18, 2009 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 11:56 AM

Show are trifoliate leaves, the knobbly, woody rootstock and deep crimson flowers.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.851, 1824.

Erythrina herbacea L. | LBC no.851/1824 | RBGS

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

Southern USA and Mexico

Common Name

Coral bean

Name in the Camden Park Record

Erythrina herbacea

Confidence level high