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CUPHEA cyanea

Image of Cuphea cyanea

James H. Schutte

Family

Lythraceae

Botanical Name

CUPHEA cyanea

Plant Common Name

Cigar Plant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A lover of heat, black eyed cuphea has haired, sticky stems and tubular orange-red flowers with two reduced black petals that look like crab eyes. This interesting tender perennial hails from Mexico where it remains evergreen and bushy year round. In cold temperate zones, it is grown as a bedding annual but can be brought indoors to overwinter.

Broad and bushy, black eyed cuphea is covered with heart-like, bright medium green leaves upon dark red stems, youngest shoots are hairy and sticky to the touch. Its numerous small, tubular blooms are orangish red, often with a touch of purple or cream at the lip. Two reduced black petal are seen at the flower's lip. Hummingbirds favor the nectar-filled flowers and will busily buzz from one to the next. The blooms are self-cleaning and do not require deadheading. Full sun is essential for best growth and flowering as is well-drained soil with average to good fertility. Established plants will withstand periods of drought and thrive in heat. Black eyed cuphea is fully evergreen but will die back to ground like a perennial in subtropical areas where occasional frosts occur. It is a superb bedding plant for sunny gardens, hummingbird borders and lively containers filled with other brightly colored bedding flowers. Trim it occasionally to maintain a more compact habit, if desired.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange Red, Black

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes