Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 06, 2013

From: Magnolia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant with crimson tubular flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I saw this lovely flower in a field in Cleveland Tx. It was growing in a patch with maybe 4 or 5 other of the same yet only in that area. The flower is crimson red, long and tubular that grow on a woody stem that seems to grow taller as it flowers. The flowers turn to a large bean pod (much like a mesquite bean), the leaves are shaped like english ivy except has red veins. The leaves and stalk where the leaves grow have small thorns but no thorns on the flower stalk. It must like full sun because there was no shade.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Erythrina herbacea (Coralbean), a member of the Family Fabaceae (Pea Family).  It is, indeed, a beautiful flower but with nasty thorns on the stems.  Here's more information from Aggie Horticulture and the Archive of Central Texas Plants from the University of Texas.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coralbean
Erythrina herbacea

Coralbean
Erythrina herbacea

Coralbean
Erythrina herbacea

More Plant Identification Questions

A stinging plant in Moultrie, GA?
April 28, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I was walking along in my lawn in some flip-flops and my foot barely grazed my ankle. As soon as it had happened, I felt this horrible pain, like a million tiny, invisible splinter...
view the full question and answer

Help with plant ID
September 01, 2004 - I found this plant alongside the road in a field in North Dallas. The dirt was fairly dry, and image is attached.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Florida
April 03, 2012 - Hello, I have a plant that I bought at a local nursery (now closed). It only came with a label that read "Sun". The plant has many long willowy stems coming up from the ground, green saw-notched lea...
view the full question and answer

Identification of all-white small plants growing in the woods in Belmont, MA.
July 21, 2009 - I have just seen a group of completely ALL-WHITE small plants growing in the woods. They have 4-8in. stalks with a kind of bell-shaped flower growing at the top. There is no green anywhere on this pla...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with purple flowers
July 06, 2011 - I'm trying to identify a vine-like plant growing in my yard to determine if it is a weed or should be kept around. It has small purple flowers with a small yellow center, looking like a mini honeysuc...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.