firebush

FAMILY: Rubiaceae | GENUS: HAMELIA patens

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
  • Trees
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Ample Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

From southern Florida south to Central and South America. This relative of gardenia and coffee grows 910 ft. tall (possibly much taller), 56 ft. wide, with whorls of oval, gray-green, 6-in. leaves. Leafstalks and flower stems are red. Clusters of 34-in., tubular, orange to bright red blooms form at branch tips all summer long; thanks to their shape and color, plant is also known as firecracker shrub. Blooms attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Flowers are followed by small, dark red, purple, or black fruit much relished by birds. Likes lots of moisture but needs good drainage. Tolerant of salt, lime. 'Calusa' is dense and uniform, with darker red leaves and brighter red-orange flowers than the species.

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