Parrot's Beak, Coral Gem, Pelican's Beak

Lotus berthelotii

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lotus (LO-tus) (Info)
Species: berthelotii (berth-eh-LOT-ee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Lotus hornklee


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Chandler, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Bonsall, California

Camarillo, California

Carlsbad, California

Emerald Lake Hills, California

Martinez, California

Oakland, California

Pleasanton, California

San Francisco, California

San Marcos, California

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Clara, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Torrance, California

Tulare, California

Aurora, Colorado

Hilo, Hawaii

Cleveland, Ohio

Mark Center, Ohio

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Myrtle Point, Oregon

Troutdale, Oregon

Fair Play, South Carolina

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)

Houston, Texas

Midland, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 12, 2015, antonpohl from bethlehem
South Africa wrote:

I have purchased 2 parrot beaks and are they in hanging baskets.The one blooms excellently but the other one only have good foliage but does it not want to flower at all.

The 2 plant is situated 1 meter from each other and receives the same amount of water and food.

Can you advise me what the problem my be.


On Oct 22, 2014, Suza55 from Myrtle Point, OR wrote:

Plant is flourishing in a container, but hasn't bloomed since planted this summer.


On Sep 16, 2014, handy911 from Redondo Beach, CA wrote:

I have the Parrot's Beak out in my front yard. I recently moved to this house, so I'm not sure how long they have been there. However, I have noticed that some of the plants are drying up or browing and died. The others seem to be happy and grow everyday. So, I'm not sure if I do anything wrong, such as overwater on some areas that do not drain well or if I need to fertilize. Summer time almost ends now. Are they considered annuals, by any chance? Is it normal that they die during the hot summer months?


On Jun 25, 2012, Oceaangirl from Torrance, CA wrote:

Love the plant but sad - I lost it to mealy bugs!!!!

I discovered this plant last fall; perfect for coastal CA in a brick flowerbed. It spilled over a 12" brick wall - bloomed non-stop and grew thick and quickly.

A week ago I noticed browning, 2 days later most of the plant was brown; i lifted it up and found that the underside covered with mealy bugs... not just a few...literally covered. Within 24 hours, the entire 5x5 space of plant was almost gone. I applied a soapy spray by Bayer and not only did it kill the mealy bugs, but also killed was left of the plant.

SO, disappointed. I can only guess that it was so thick and heavy it didn't 'breath' underneath and one bug turned into a thriving colony in the dampness.

:( ... read more


On May 25, 2008, danpv from Camarillo, CA wrote:

I recently bought this plant in a 10" pot in full bloom. I've placed it in full sun on my patio and it's doing very well.

I water it approximately every other day in this warming early summer weather. In the short time I've had this plant, it has shown good growth. I placed several fertilizer spikes in the pot - not sure if this will suffice.

Its flowers are the local hummingbirds' favorite - preferred, thus far, over all the other types of flowers I have that are supposed to attract hummers.


On May 5, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I agree with the intense need for water... planted in well draining soil which was probably a mistake and have to water them more than any other plant in the yard just to keep them alive... they suck up water! But if you do water them daily, they look great, grow really fast, and before you know it, they are covering everything! Unfortunately took a short trip and person watering skipped 3 hot days and now plants are gone. Nothing else is that much the worse for wear... amazing! Probably better as a potted plant.


On May 5, 2004, CatherineRC from Redwood City, CA wrote:

I have not found the lotus species to be drought tolerant though quite worth growing. I moved both of mine from hanging (moss) baskets to large clay containers this year and they are both much happier. They were drying out faster than I could keep up with. They are also now in partial shade as well. Thanks for the insight into their need for fertilizer. I use only organics, but did notice a flush of bloom after a spring dose!


On Apr 20, 2003, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although very tender, this plant has such unusual flowers it is really worth giving a try. Mine are still tiny (1 qt size) but we saw one at a nursery display that was at least 3' long and covered with blooms. My non-gardening husband doesn't pay much attention to individual plants, but he stopped and stared at that display! Even when small, they will bloom.

I have two, one in a pot and one in the garden. Interestingly enough, the one in the pot is doing better and has bloomed first. The blooms last a very long time, over a month if you leave them on the plant. Don't know if they make good cut flowers or not.

June 2003: the potted LB is still doing better than the in-ground sibling! Interesting. Blooms almost continually. VERY heavy feeder. Every time I fertil... read more


On Aug 25, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

This plant makes a great ground cover and is actually a pretty drought tolerant plant in Southern California. Blooms much better in full sun than shade.