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Cuphea ignea AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial, Bedding, Conservatory/Greenhouse or Houseplant

Habit

Spreading / Branched

Resilience

Hardiness

H1c (heated greenhouse - warm temperate)

Colour

Flower

Black, Red and White in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

cigar flower

Family

Lythraceae


Cuphea can be annuals, perennials or evergreen shrubs, often with sticky hairs, opposite, simple leaves and tubular flowers with a showy calyx and small petals

C. ignea is a spreading evergreen sub-shrub to 40cm in height, with lance-shaped leaves and tubular scarlet flowers, black at the tip and edged white

Other common names

  • cigar plant
  • firecracker plant
  • Mexican cigar flower
  • red-white-and-blue flower
  • vegetable firecracker

Synonym(s)

  • Cuphea platycentra

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Best grown in well-drained soil in a sheltered site in sun or partial shade but shade from hot sun. Alternatively grow in a pot under glass or as a houseplant

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Flower borders and beds, Wall-side Borders or Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 10 in spring if needed

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free