Russellia equistiformis, Firecracker Plant
Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates a wide range of soil moisture. Established plants tolerate some dry soils but are best in medium moisture soils. Also grows well in moist soils at the periphery of ponds or water gardens. Site in locations sheltered from strong winds. Cascading stems may root where they touch the ground, either accidentally or by design, and new plants can be potted up when this occurs. Stems of overwintered houseplants may be pruned or cut back to the soil level in spring in advance of placing pots outdoors.
Russelia equisetiformis, commonly called coral plant, coral fountain or firecracker plant, is native to Mexico. It is a deciduous, asparagus-like, many-branched, tropical subshrub (to 4’ tall) with trailing rush-like 4-angled stems and bright red tubular firecracker-like flowers (to 1.25” long) in drooping terminal cymes. Blooms freely from late spring to frost. Needle-like medium green leaves (to 1/2” long). Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds.
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