CUPHEA

FAMILY: Lythraceae

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

These natives of Mexico and Cen- tral America provide color through- out warm months; use them in small beds, as formal edging for borders, along paths, in contain- ers. Flowers attract hummingbirds. Pinch tips of shoots for compact growth; severely cut back older plants in late fall or early spring. Reliably perennial only in frost-free areas, but may survive light frosts in Coastal South. Easy to grow from cuttings.

violet cuphea

cuphea cyanea

  • Can reach 6 feet in its native Mexico, but usually half that tall and wide in home gardens; as an annual, it grows 11 feet high.
  • Medium to dark green, ovate leaves 23 inches long.
  • Each tubular, - to 1 inches-long flower is bright pink with a yellow tip and two earlike violet-blue petals.

hawaiian heather, mexican heather

cuphea hyssopifolia

  • To 12 feet tall, about 2 feet wide.
  • Flexible, leafy branchlets clothed in very narrow, - to inches-long, medium to dark green leaves.
  • Tiny flowers (scarcely half as long as leaves) in pink, purple, or white.
  • Plants in the Itsy Bitsy Series grow 8 inches high and 6 inches wide, and are excellent rock garden plants.
  • Caribbean Sunset, to 2 feet tall, has orange blooms.
  • Riverdene Gold, 1 feet tall and 2 feet wide, has golden foliage and deep pink blooms.

cigar plant

cuphea ignea

  • Leafy, compact plant to 1 feet or taller, as wide as tall.
  • Narrow, dark green leaves, 11 inches long.
  • The flowers explain the cigar of the common name: They're tubular, inches long, bright orange-red with white tip and dark ring at end.
  • Flowers of 'Lutea' are a very soft yellow; those of 'Petite Peach' are a light peach.
  • David Verity has orange-red blooms.
  • Starfire has a pink flower tube and purple petals.

bat-faced cuphea

cuphea llavea

  • To 23 feet tall, 3 feet wide.
  • Medium green leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Red-and-purple, 1 inches-long flowers are said to look like a bat's face.
  • Occasionally spreads by seed in gardens.
  • Though cultivated in the desert, it is not drought tolerantin nature, it grows along stream banks in Mexico.
  • Compact varieties (1216 inches high, 18 inches wide) include 'Flamenco Rumba', coral red flowers; 'Flamenco Tango', vibrant pink blooms; and 'Totally Tempted', bright red blooms.

giant cigar plant

cuphea micropetala

  • To 4 feet tall, 34 feet wide.
  • Arching stems, each closely set with narrow, 5 inches., medium green leaves and topped by a slender, spikelike cluster of 1 inches., bright red flowers tipped with yellow.
  • Deciduous in cold weather.

cuphea x purpurea

  • Hybrid to 11 feet high and wide, good for ground covers and hanging baskets.
  • Red flowers to 1 inches long; dark green leaves to 3 inches long.
  • Firecracker, bearing dark purple flowers with two earlike bright red petals, thrives in Southern heat and humidity.
  • Firefly bears magenta petals with a white ring in the center and is equally well adapted.

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