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CUPHEA 'Firecracker'

Image of Cuphea 'Firecracker' PP13595

James H. Schutte

Family

Lythraceae

Botanical Name

CUPHEA 'Firecracker' PP13595

Plant Common Name

Firecracker Cigar Flower, Hybrid Cigar Plant

General Description

The vigorous cigar flower, ‘Firecraker’, has a trailing habit and bears loads of frilly, deep scarlet flowers with purple centers when summer’s at its hottest. In tropical to subtropical zones it will grow as a semi-evergreen subshrub but in colder regions it’s planted as a bedding annual. This hybrid is a cross between Cuphea ilavea and Cuphea purpurea and was hybridized in 1999 by German plant breeder, Michael Helmet Unger.

The reddish stems of ‘Firecracker’ are hairy, glandular and sticky to the touch, as are its whorls of dark green leaves. From spring to autumn, bat-shaped scarlet flowers with purple centers appear along its spreading outer stems. Hummingbirds are attracted to the blooms, so it’s wise to plant them high in tall containers or hanging baskets for easy hummer access.

Full to partial sun and well-drained soil with average to good fertility and a neutral pH are needed for dense foliage and good flowering. Once established, ‘Firecracker’ is both heat and drought tolerant. Still, specimens planted in containers require regular water. Root rot may occur if plants are placed in poor draining containers or planted in overly moist soils. Otherwise, this cigar plant has few pest or disease problems.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 11, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6"-8" / 15.2cm - 20.3cm

  • Width

    12"-15" / 30.5cm - 38.1cm

  • Bloom Time

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

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Purple, Dark Red

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark 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

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No