If you need a good pea in a dry climate, then Erythrina herbacea is just what the plant doctor ordered...just don't take it orally. Calling home from NC west to Texas, Erythrina can be found in dry, desolate roadsides and fields. To survive these conditions, Erythrina herbacea makes a huge underground storage root, so plant it where you want it to stay. In late spring, the 3' tall green spikes of three-lobed leaves emerge upward. Soon after the leaves unfurl, the terminal 4' long floral spikes, adorned with bright red "fingers," strut their stuff...a hummingbird favorite. If your town is too small for traffic lights, hang the flowers upside down in each intersection...voila, redneck stop lights. Hot and dry and you've got the growing conditions figured out.
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