Erythrina flabelliforme  Coralbean
TREE.  In Mexico, this is a full sized tree.  In southern Arizona, at the northern limit of its range, it is a frost-pinched shrubby dwarf, a kind of natural bonsai.  Clusters of stout pale green or tan thorny branches sprout from the short rootlike trunk that is usually hidden among rocks.  Showy clusters of large scarlet tubular flowers bloom in late May or early June before the leaves appear.  Leaves are light green, smooth, and divided into three round, slightly pointed leaflets.  Leaves appear in midsummer and turn bright yellow before falling in October.  Woody brown seedpods, constricted between the seeds to form beadlike segments, split open in winter to reveal large hard red (rarely tan) seeds.  Branches may freeze back in cold winters.  Buried trunk and delayed growing season make it fire-resistant.  In the Empires, uncommon among rock outcrops at higher elevations in desert grassland.
FAMILY:  Fabaceae (Pea Family)