This native plant blooms for months, attracting both birds and butterflies, and is practically bullet-proof once established.
Firebush is a perennial or semi-woody shrub that is known scientifically as Hamelia patens. Gardeners love firebush because it produces flowers from late spring until the first frost, and the bright red flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, including the zebra longwing and gulf fritillary butterflies.
The plant's mature size will depend on where it is grown. In South Florida, it may reach fifteen feet tall, though it can easily be kept to five or eight feet tall. It works well in hedges, mixed borders, or as a stand-alone shrub.
In North Florida, it will die back after the first freeze but will re-grow in the spring, making it what some people call a "root-hardy perennial."
It is also a great plant because it is heat and drought-tolerant once established, can grow in a range of soils, and has no serious insect or disease problems.
Soil pH: Acidic, Neutral, and Alkaline Soil Type: Chalk, Clay, Loam, Peat, Saline, Sand, Silt Climate: Sub-tropical, Tropical Sunlight: Partial Shade, Full Sun USDA Hardiness Zone (°F): 8 (10 to 20 °F) Foliage: Evergreen Species: Hamelia patens Watering: Medium