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CUPHEA 'Firefly'

Image of Cuphea 'Firefly'

Family

Lythraceae

Botanical Name

CUPHEA 'Firefly'

Plant Common Name

Firefly Cigar Flower, Hybrid Cigar Plant

General Description

The fiery flowers of this low semi-evergreen subshrub continue from spring to frost, or year-round in frost-free sites. Perennial in mild climates, it is often used as an annual in areas where it is not winter-hardy.

The upright to lax, nearly knee-high stems of ‘Firefly' are hairy, glandular and sticky to the touch, as are its whorls of medium- to dark-green leaves. Loose clusters of bright cherry-red flowers appear at the stem tips in mild weather. Each bloom has five ruffled, flaring segments surrounding a central purple ruff that resembles a bat face. Compared to most other cupheas, 'Firefly' attracts relatively few hummingbirds.

Full to partial sun and well-drained and moderately fertile, well-drained, circumneutral soil are needed for dense foliage and good flowering. Plants are least floppy in full sun. Once established, ‘Firefly' is both heat and drought tolerant. Still, specimens planted in containers require regular water. Root rot may occur in heavy or frequently watered soil. Otherwise, this cigar plant has few pest or disease problems.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 2

  • 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

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

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

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, 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, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No