Firebush  Hamelia patens

Listed as a nectar source on every butterfly list in circulation, firebush is relatively common as a "volunteer" (fancy name for a weed), where it can be found reaching for the sun from strategic positions at the edges of hammocks, or in open disturbed sites, throughout South Florida, the Caribbean and Tropical America.

In landscaping, use it in sunny, well-drained spots, and you will get the maximal amount of flowers.  In shady locations, flowering will be reduced.  If it's planted in too hot of a location, it may become stressed, and not quite look its best. 

Because there are few native plants with so much distinctive color, there is strong potential for the "more is better" type of overuse.  It is preferable to follow the "less is more" school of thought, in which you position just a few in carefully selected focal points, and use your other native plant combinations as subtle, textured background development.

The long tubular flowers of firebush will be recognized by plant enthusiasts as being of the hummingbird-pollinated kind. 

Pollinators of varying form will show up for dinner, or a just a quick snack.

The fruits (black when ripe) are juicy enough to attract birds, which will then go over to your neighbor's yard and excrete the seeds (that's where those previously mentioned, so-called "volunteers" come from).

Growth becomes open and almost vine-like in shady locations.  It can even work its way up to become part of the canopy, which is a nice effect. 

People who are compulsive trimmers will enjoy firebush, which does better when cut back at the end of the flowering season (usually at the end of the rainy season).  Trim it at least once every two years; at most depends on just how compulsive a trimmer you are.

It generally reaches a height of 12' or so, before a strong wind comes along and trims it for you.

Our cultivar, 'Compacta', maintains a relative tightness.  It is one of the more popular forms commonly used in landscaping.

In the photos below are firebush in 3-gal., ready for planting.
e-mail: plants@plantcreations.com
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Screening
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Stoppers
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What About the Environment?
Wildlife at Plant Creations
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Home
Botanical Tags
Butterfly Host Plants
Cardinals at the nursery
Coastal
Cold Damage
Driving Directions
Feedback
Fragrant Plants
Groundcovers
Hammock
In the Shadehouse
Invasive Plants
Landscaping for Hurricanes
Managing Your Plants
Mealybug Destroyers
Misc. Tropical Plants
Our Nursery
Plant Archives
Plant List
Landscaping Jobs
References
Screening
Search Page
Services
Shipping
Stone Planters
Stoppers
Street Trees
What About the Environment?
Wildlife at Plant Creations
Xerophytes
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Last updated:  12/20/2011