Leaf: Alternate, tri-foliate compound, 5 inches long, each leaflet arrowhead-shaped (2 to 3 inches long and wide), margins entire, petiole often with hooked prickles, green above and below.
Flower: Attractive, deep red, in long, dense, terminal spikes up to 12 inches; each flower is tubular, up to 2 1/2 inches long, appearing in late spring through mid-summer.
Fruit: A 2-4 inch long bean pod containing red seeds.
Twig: Slender, green to light brown, bearing conspicuous hooked prickles (resemble a cat claw).
Bark: Smooth light gray-brown, bearing hooked prickles.
Form: A small marginally woody shrub reaching up to 4 feet tall in the northern part of its range, but it can reach 16 feet in warm areas.
Additional Range Information: Erythrina herbacea is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information