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 tubaeformisAccepted
Odontonema strictumSynonym
Odontonema tubaeformeSynonym

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
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 (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
piksihkOn December 17, 2016Bloomed
starting to bloom
piksihkOn March 3, 2016Bloomed
these are still loaded with blooms - mild winter here so they continue to bloom;
piksihkOn November 2, 2015Bloomed
piksihkOn November 1, 2014Bloomed
piksihkOn October 8, 2014Miscellaneous Event
cuttings rooting in water
lovesbloomsOn May 12, 2016Obtained plant
cuttings--set in wet sand with plastic bag covering.
SugaOn October 3, 2016Bloomed
MunchkinsMomOn October 29, 2016Miscellaneous 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
MunchkinsMomOn September 9, 2016Potted up
Repotted into 1 gallon pot
MunchkinsMomOn November 2, 2015Obtained 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 TitleLast ReplyReplies
Hummingbirds 2017 by LindaTX8Oct 16, 2017 7:13 PM716
Plant by shutterfly62Nov 6, 2016 5:22 PM3
Daylily seeds! by DogsNDayliliesJan 3, 2016 8:06 AM25
Untitled by jmorthDec 6, 2015 6:48 PM25
Backyard Birds - December 2015 by plantladylinJan 3, 2016 8:37 PM299
Mystery Red Leaves Plant by MunchkinsMomNov 12, 2015 5:23 PM8
Need shrub advice by plantnerdSep 23, 2015 2:33 PM6
My Garden and other stuff - 2015 by lovemyhouseJan 2, 2016 3:43 PM2,537

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