Hues of paralysis

We use it to make rat and fish poison, yet the Seminole used it to alleviate rheumatic pain and digestive problems, and the Choctaw used it as a general tonic.  Every part of it is laced with toxic alkaloids known to cause paralysis.

Blooming coral bean (a.k.a. red cardinal, cardinal spear or Cherokee bean; Erythrina herbacea) in sunshine (2009_05_16_018800)

Poisonous capabilities notwithstanding, it’s hard to miss the beauty of coral bean (a.k.a. red cardinal, cardinal spear or Cherokee bean; Erythrina herbacea).

Green seed pods of coral bean (a.k.a. red cardinal, cardinal spear or Cherokee bean; Erythrina herbacea) (2009_05_16_018838)

Though not common in my neck of the woods, it grows abundantly at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast, thus I get to enjoy it when I visit my favorite nature getaway.

Dried seed pods of coral bean (a.k.a. red cardinal, cardinal spear or Cherokee bean; Erythrina herbacea) revealing the crimson seeds inside (2009_05_16_018839)

Beautiful when flowering, it’s equally stunning when the pods mature into ebony cases around crimson seeds.

Dried seed pods of coral bean (a.k.a. red cardinal, cardinal spear or Cherokee bean; Erythrina herbacea) showing the crimson seeds inside (2009_05_16_018842)

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Pardon the recent dearth of activity here.  Extenuating circumstances have had me otherwise occupied, including relocating from Dallas to the more rustic charm of East Texas.  Hopefully as things settle down I’ll have a better opportunity to catch up with online activities.  Until then, be well and be safe!

4 thoughts on “Hues of paralysis”

  1. Nice to see another post. Hope you are well.

    Coral bean is one of my favorite plants too. It’s hard to pass those strikingly rich colors without pausing

  2. The third image is REALLY striking. Thanks for sharing. I lived in central Florida for seven years, but I don’t recall ever seeing this plant. Perhaps it’s not native to Florida. Good luck on the move to the Pines–a new habitat! I hope we hear from you more frequently when you get yourself organized.

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