Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost-deciduous.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: Normally 2-4' high and wide. Can grow to 6' high.
Flowers: Small flowers clustered into hemispheres of various colors,
fading center out, often from red to orange, then yellow. Pastel
colored and solid gold, sterile hybrids are common.
Bloom: Mid-winter to fall, or summer to fall, depending on local climate.
Fruit: Small black or blue-black, berries.
Most sterile hybrids do not produce berries.
Leaves: Rough textured, green, strong odor if crushed,
to 3" long.
Stems: Tiny thorns on some cultivars.
Wildlife: Some cultivars are very attractive to butterflies,
other cultivars do not interest them. Occasionally attracts hummingbirds.
Attracts birds if berries are produced. Avoided by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: All parts, including unripe berries, are toxic. Ripe berries may be edible,
but use caution, as this may vary by cultivar. Small thorns on stems.
Origin: Tropical America.
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. Root hardy to 20°F.
In regions with freezes, grows back from roots after start of
spring if properly mulched.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun for best blooms.
Water once established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline),
Mulch: Cover roots well before first predicted freeze.
First Year Care: Water thoroughly every day to
establish extensive root system.
Prune: Remove dead parts in late winter.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Many varieties sold in nurseries are hybrids with varying degrees
of cold hardiness. The butterfly is a Sleepy Orange.
Cultivar 'Del Rio' repels butterflies. Cultivars 'Dallas Red' and
'Radiation Bush' may attract them.
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