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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.