Firespike (Thyrsacanthus tubaeformis)

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Common names:
Give a thumbs up Firespike
Give a thumbs up Scarlet Flame
Give a thumbs up Cardinal Guard
Give a thumbs up Mexican Firespike

Botanical names:
Thyrsacanthus tubaeformis Accepted
Odontonema strictum Synonym
Odontonema tubaeforme Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8b -9.4 °C (15 °F) to -6.7 °C (20 °F)
Plant Height: 4 - 8 feet
Plant Spread: 6 - 8 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip


This plant is tagged in:

Posted by terrafirma (NE, Florida - Zone 9a) on Sep 22, 2013 11:49 AM

Here in NE.Fl. this plant will die back in the winter and will reliably return after the spring clean up. It is said to attain a height/spread of 6-8'. In an area where there is no die back, i.e., a milder climate, I have seen it attain nearly twice that in height. It is a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies alike.

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Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 18, 2011 8:03 PM

Hummingbirds absolutely ADORE this shrub! They will be attracted to your yard by this shrub.

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Posted by Deebie (Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a - Zone 8a) on Dec 11, 2015 11:45 AM

I have this plant in my zone 8a garden and I love it. Although a hard frost will eventually blacken the leaves, it will die down for the winter and resprout again in the spring. It will wilt if placed in full sun, but rebounds when watered. This is only my 3rd year with this plant, which I received as a cutting from a generous DG member. This, coupled with the fact that it resprouts from the roots, may account for my bush only attaining a height of about 2 feet without blooms. I have it in my back border in filtered sun, which I have not been able to enjoy much this year because of illness and oppressive heat. So, I'm not sure whether hummers are able to benefit from mine, especially because it blooms so late in the season. This year, I have been covering my bush with frost cloth when we get a threat of frost, and so far, my plant is still green and blooming in December. I will take cuttings and plant some in my front borders, where I can view them from my front windows. They root easily, even in water, and make a great plant to share.

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Plant Log from Suga - Coastal South Carolina (Zone 8b)
On October 3, 2016 Bloomed
Plant Log from lovesblooms - Maryland (Zone 7a)
On May 12, 2016 Obtained plant
cuttings--set in wet sand with plastic bag covering.
Plant Log from piksihk - Texas (Zone 9a)
On March 3, 2016 Bloomed
these are still loaded with blooms - mild winter here so they continue to bloom;
On November 2, 2015 Bloomed
On November 1, 2014 Bloomed
On October 8, 2014 Miscellaneous Event
cuttings rooting in water
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