Erythrina flabelliformis  Kearney Coral bean  - Fabaceae

Seeds from several species of coral beans are used as beads.  The Aztecs believed that wearing the red seeds of Erythrina corallodendron would avert the Evil Eye, the cause of sickness, failure and harm of all kinds.  The color red, they thought, was an effective antidote to its power.4

Erythrina flabelliformis is a small frost-sensitive tree native to Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.  It produces four-to-ten inch-long (10-26 centimeters) rounded, leathery pods with bean-shaped, bright red or orange seeds that contain a poisonous alkaloid.  This is the seed the Tarahumaras of Copper Canyon use most frequently in their jewelry today.

 

 

 

 

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