Also known as a lobster claw, Clianthus is a bushy, small, evergreen shrub native to New Zealand’s North Island from the Fabaceae (legume) family.
Usually, the Clianthus genus contains just two species: Clianthus punicens and Clianthus damieri, often called Clianthus formosus. The deep-green to gray-green leaves are 6-inches long and divided into 15 to 20 pairs of leaflets.
In late spring and early summer, Clianthus produces groups of 15 to 25 red to bright red waxy flowers that are 3-inches long and resemble the lobster claw or beak of a parrot, which explains the common names.
In New Zealand, the plant is named after the native parrot, Kakabeak. The parrot’s beak is a good choice for growing on a trellis or wall due to its extensive growth. It’s a short-lived plant, but it reproduces quickly.