Answer: I hope this is the plant -- Cigar or firecracker plant (Cuphea ignea) can be grown outdoors in zones 10 to 12 but is grown as a house or patio plant in colder areas. It needs full sun, grows about a foot high and wide and can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.
It is not easy to find seeds, as you said! A quick search revealed the following source, unfortunately I have no experience with either company:
Degiorgio Seed Co. at
You might also ask a local greenhouse or houseplant supplier if they could order some plants for you so you could take cuttings.
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