planting coral bean seed

its pretty easy.

just take each seed and cut the very tip of the seed just enough to slice off a piece of the red seed coating. You’ll see a white center when the red chip comes off. I use a sharp bypass pruning shears to cut em or a sharp knife. Ok, its not really easy. Its a bit tedious. But I really like the plant and I like even better, growing it from seed.


the seed in the foreground pot is from a patch of erythrinia growing in what I call the Charles Allen prairie. Its a new prairie that Charles found four or five years ago while he was looking for lady slippers. Its a spot in Ft Polk where you have to get permission to go and sometimes the Army doesnt give that permission. Its a tiny “island” of prairie hidden deep in an old growth forest.

This is significant to me because Dr. Allen is a mentor and he compiled a short book on erythrinia. And he discovered this prairie. So one day soon I will pass him on some plants for his garden.

Its pretty amazing that these seeds were sitting in storage for over four years and I cut the tips off and soaked them for a day in water and they are all germinating. I tell people if you clip and soak 10 seeds, eleven will germinate.


above: seedlings germinating


above: seedlings three weeks after germination

It took may years and lots of wasted seed and time before somebody finally told me how to germinate em.


a bunch of seed, and work


coral bean blooming at the farm.

The neatest thing about coral bean is its adaptability. It is found in lots of different habitats in its range and in some that are particularly challenging to plants in general. But coral bean grows and persists.

4 thoughts on “planting coral bean seed

    • Hi Selina, no they would take at least two and possibly as much as four years or more from seed. If you have rich soil and or push the plants via fertilization or by growing them in the best conditions in a nursery condition, etc they maybbloom earlier. Its dependent on the size and maturity of the root which can get really large – sometimes six inches or more thick. A mature root means a mature plant and so each year will bloom and go to seed. Must have at leadt afternoon sunlight – or more. These are plants that will be around forever once established. Good luck! Grow with baptisia alba for good companion and same phenolgy.

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