This Southeast North American sandy woods native was left here by extraterrestrials...it's just too weird for any other explanation. In mid-May as the leaves of Erythrina herbacea emerge, the flower stalks grow rapidly from the woody underground base to 3' in length. The top half of each flowering stem is lined with dozens of pink, lipstick-like flowers. After flowering, the slightly prickly branches emerge, clothed with trifoliate (three leaflets), pea-like foliage. For best hardiness in marginal zones, do not cut the branches of Erythrina herbacea back until late spring. These are from a rare pink-flowered form and it may take several years to mature enough to flower well.
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