PlantsThyrsacanthus→Firespike (Thyrsacanthus tubaeformis)

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
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
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: Other: Can be evergreen to deciduous depending on zone
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on new wood
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Cuttings: Tip
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


This plant is tagged in:

Posted by terrafirma (NE. FL. - 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 (midstate South Carolina - 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 Events from our members
piksihk On February 23, 2019 Cuttings stuck
piksihk On February 11, 2019 Maintenance performed
pruned down
piksihk On January 10, 2019 Bloomed
still in bloom; last freeze did not kill leaves
piksihk On December 17, 2016 Bloomed
starting to bloom
piksihk On March 3, 2016 Bloomed
these are still loaded with blooms - mild winter here so they continue to bloom;
piksihk On November 2, 2015 Bloomed
piksihk On November 1, 2014 Bloomed
piksihk On October 8, 2014 Miscellaneous Event
cuttings rooting in water
lovesblooms On May 12, 2016 Obtained plant
cuttings--set in wet sand with plastic bag covering.
Suga On October 3, 2016 Bloomed
MunchkinsMom On October 29, 2016 Miscellaneous Event
Growing like a little weed now that he finally has some room! I'll keep him on the patio table and bring him in the house if it freezes. Don't know where I'll eventually plant him
MunchkinsMom On September 9, 2016 Potted up
Repotted into 1 gallon pot
MunchkinsMom On November 2, 2015 Obtained plant
Morris Nursery $3.95 2 1/2" x 3" pot Firespike Scarlet Flame Odontonema strictum
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Central Fl by Southamerica Sep 8, 2021 12:22 PM 3
plant ID? red tubular flowers, white berries, shrub-like by plantsquestions23 Nov 10, 2020 6:04 PM 11
I need some help to identify this plant please by alissarose Apr 27, 2020 5:13 PM 2
Firespike plants by Miamiu Jul 5, 2021 6:02 AM 6
Firespike cuttings for trade by Kippykins Jul 2, 2019 12:00 PM 1
Bird Photos and Chat 2019 by dirtdorphins Jul 31, 2020 7:07 AM 2,184
Bird Photos - August 2018 by plantladylin Sep 2, 2018 7:47 AM 106
Unknown Plant by rhino57 Jan 10, 2018 10:25 AM 15
Ain't that the truth! by plantladylin Dec 20, 2019 3:20 PM 14
Hummingbirds 2017 by LindaTX8 Apr 16, 2018 2:49 PM 775

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