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CUPHEA micropetala

Image of Cuphea micropetala

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Lythraceae

Botanical Name

CUPHEA micropetala

Plant Common Name

Candycorn Flower, Candycorn Plant

General Description

Candycorn plant is a fantastic drought-tolerant tender perennial with flowers sure to strike up a conversation or smile. Native to Mexico and parts of Guatemala, it appreciates heat, sunshine and well-drained soils. This plant will grow waist-high with its barely arching stems with pretty orange-red flowers that are tipped in yellow. Yes, the flowers will remind you of candy corn! Flowering occurs throughout the warm months in tropical climes, but is more early fall blooming when the plant must regrow from the roots each spring from frosty, mild winters.

Generally a low maintenance plant, occasional trimming will ensure bushiness, but be aware that the clusters of flowers arise from new growth at stem tips. In general candycorn plant remains evergreen, but in a frost it will die to the ground and become dormant. It is a returning perennial in mildly subfreezing winter areas only. Perfect for the middle or back of a flower border or in a more difficult hot, sunny location in the garden. It's also excellent for a children's or wildlife garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m (3)

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

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

  • Native To

    Mexico, Central America

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

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange 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

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes