Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bat's Wing Coral Tree, Batwing Coral Tree, Bean Tree
Erythrina vespertilio

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Erythrina (er-ith-RY-nuh) (Info)
Species: vespertilio (ves-per-TIL-ee-oh) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

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:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By RWhiz
Thumbnail #1 of Erythrina vespertilio by RWhiz

By vossner
Thumbnail #2 of Erythrina vespertilio by vossner

By vossner
Thumbnail #3 of Erythrina vespertilio by vossner

By eliasastro
Thumbnail #4 of Erythrina vespertilio by eliasastro

By eliasastro
Thumbnail #5 of Erythrina vespertilio by eliasastro


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive eliasastro On Aug 14, 2012, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

My seedling is only few months old, but during transplant to a larger pot an underground caudex was found. So surprising!
Seeds of this Erythrina have a very hard coating, so they need scarification for faster germination (these are the hardest Erythrina seeds together with Erythrina flabelliformis).

Neutral vossner On Jan 31, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Rating it neutral, as I do not actually grow this plant. There is a specimen at the Fort Bend Co., TX coop. extension office (z9a) planted in partial shade, very close to a walkway. I believe the plant grew too big for its location but too established to be transplanted, so it was severely pruned instead.

Erythrina vespertilio is a small, straggly tree, 20-25 ft tall, with thorns on the trunk and branches. The bark is creamy-grey, deeply furrowed and corky. Leaves are bifoliolate or trifoliolate, resembling a bat's open wings. The plant is deciduous. It has scarlet to orange-red pea flowers borne in terminal racemes. The seeds are orange to dark yellow, bean-like.

The species will grow in a wide range of soils as long as drainage is good and it has plenty of sun. Propagation is from seed or cuttings. Generally no seed treatment is required but light scarification may assist germination.


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

Phoenix, Arizona
Spring Valley, California
Mulberry, Florida
Freeport, Texas
Richmond, Texas

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