Tropicals forum: Firespike (Odontonema strictum)

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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Aug 3, 2015 6:27 PM CST
I'm guessing that this is a tropical. Firespike (Thyrsacanthus tubaeformis)

Can I grow it in a large container next summer?

Thanks for all your info! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Aug 4, 2015 8:55 AM CST
Yes and I don't see why not!
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Aug 4, 2015 10:04 AM CST
I grew it here for a couple of years in a container and it never bloomed until late October. The hummingbirds were long gone by then. It seems to need fairly even day/night hours to initiate bud set. I got rid of it when it got infested with scale. Thumbs down The flowers are pretty, though.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Aug 4, 2015 10:27 AM CST
It is a fairly late bloomer here too - it just started blooming about a week ago. That's a far cry from late October, though...
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 4, 2015 10:56 AM CST
Mine is somewhat of a late bloomer too ... usually begins blooming in late July.
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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Aug 4, 2015 11:21 AM CST
Latitude makes a big difference in day/night lengths. I've found that a lot of tropical plants that bloom year-round or are late summer bloomers in southern Florida will only bloom in late fall here (if I had them in a greenhouse they would likely bloom in winter and/or spring, too.) Marilyn is even farther north than me. It's been a few years since I've tried the Odontonema strictum so it may have bloomed in early October but, regardless, the hummingbirds had migrated away by the time it bloomed.

Still, if you want to experiment then go for it! I've read that sometimes they will bloom abnormally early. I just wouldn't have my heart set on a really big show of flowers.

If you are wanting to try a fun tropical for the hummingbirds, you may want to check out:


It is early summer-fall blooming for me, tough as nails and every time I walk by the pot there is a hummingbird on it. Plus, it's so pretty!!!!

Of course, there are some other great choices, too, but this is one of my favorites this year. Green Grin!
[Last edited by Danita - Aug 4, 2015 11:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Aug 4, 2015 11:38 AM CST
Danita, Wow ... I love that Tahitian Hat Plant, really gorgeous! The database lists it as zone 10 and higher but I've never seen it for sale anywhere here in Florida, I'll have to keep an eye out for that beauty! I see another common name for that one is Chinese Hat. I have (at least I think it's still out in the yard somewhere) a plant also called Chinese Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea) and the shape of leaves and the bloom are similar, but a different color:
Thumb of 2015-08-04/plantladylin/c99bec Thumb of 2015-08-04/plantladylin/82651b



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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
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Marilyn
Aug 4, 2015 3:04 PM CST
Hetty, Danita and Lin,

Thanks for all your info! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up

That Tahitian Hat Plant (Karomia tettensis) is one I'll have to look into. Thanks Danita! I like that it is humidity tolerant and will most likely bloom long enough up here for our growing season.

Almost Eden offers it (sold out now), so I'll have to order it early next year. http://almostedenplants.com/shopping/products/574-Purple-Chi...

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 4, 2015 3:08 PM CST
LOL, I went googling and saw it at Almost Eden too ... hope they carry it again in the future! Green Grin!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 4, 2015 3:11 PM CST
I see Top Tropicals have it for $39.95 but they have it labeled incorrectly:
http://toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_catalog/cat.cgi?uid=H...
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Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Aug 4, 2015 3:15 PM CST
Noticed Almost Eden offers http://almostedenplants.com/shopping/products/358-Orange-Chi... (out of stock now) $9.99

ATB db = Chinese Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea)

But the Tahitian Hat Plant $12.99 for a 4.5 inch pot. That's a little steep for me for an "annual". Good thing I have a lot of time to think about it.

Just noticed they offer a smaller size pot of Tahitian Hat Plant $8.99 for a 2.25 inch pot (out of stock now).
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


[Last edited by Marilyn - Aug 4, 2015 3:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 4, 2015 3:22 PM CST
They look so much alike, like they could be in the same Genus but one is Karomia while the other is Holmskioldia:

Tahitian Hat Plant (Karomia tettensis) A/K/A Chinese Hat, Parasol Flower
Chinese Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea) A/K/A Chinese Hat, Parasol Flower
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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Aug 6, 2015 3:51 AM CST
That Tahitian Hat is stunning. I have never seen that around here either.

My Odontonema Strictum is indeed a late bloomer, it never starts until late August. There are tiny buds forming now and it will bloom steadily until late December. We have hummers year round so it is nice to have something in flower for them. I keep mine in a large, 22", container year round because it is such a thug here in zone 9a. There is a more tender and less invasive variety with purple flowers that blooms in the spring in warmer areas. It is a bit too cool here for it, it comes back each year but it is never grown enough to bloom. I should probably dig that one up and put it in a container that I could bring in during the winter.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Aug 6, 2015 6:38 AM CST
My Red Firespike started blooming a couple of weeks earlier than usual this year; blooms usually begin to appear at the end of August. I took this photo last weekend:


~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

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