Wildflower Wednesday: Russelia equisetiformis

Russelia equisetiformis, firecracker plant

Okay, so Russelia equisetiformis, commonly known as firecracker plant or coral plant, isn’t native to the United States. It is, however, a transplant from Mexico and other tropical climes. When the summer sun tries to do its worst, this little plant (in Oklahoma anyway) laughs and then really turns on her own heat with tangerine or yellow bells hummingbirds and butterflies can’t resist.

In the middle of summer, as I stand on the deck sweating while watering the containers, Russelia equisetiformis always makes me feel a bit more cheerful. She doesn’t ask for much, just good soil and drainage and enough water.  Then, she blooms and blooms until colder temps shut her down. Hardy in zones 9 through 12, firecracker plant is a small shrub in places like Florida. Further north like my Oklahoma home, it is most often grown as an annual, but this fall I think I’ll bring the little darling inside and see if I can overwinter her.

With no leaves to speak of, her stems resemble a waterfall as they flow over the container and below. One plant will cover an entire container by late summer.

Thanks to Gail at Clay and Limestone who makes Wildflower Wednesday possible. After all, most flowers are wildflowers somewhere.