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.


  1. Helen says:

    What a fab looking plant, wish it grew here in the UK. Looks like mad hair

  2. marnie says:

    Beautiful! An interesting plant but not easy to find. You are one of only two bloggers I’ve seen growing this plant in the last three years. I’d certainly try it if I ever find the seeds or a plant.

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    OOooo this is a beauty. Do you have to bring it in during winter??

  4. Cyndy says:

    Never seen this cutie before – like Carol, I’m curious about the hummingbird factor. Agree this theme is quite nice:)

  5. Bernie says:

    It’s a fantastic plant for any area that gets a hot, dry summer … it’s quite common over here in the tropical areas of Oz. I also love the new colours … I have the creamy white variety as well.

  6. Gail says:

    Dee, it’s a delightful flower and anything that attracts hummers is wonderful~I love WW and and how we get to share wildflowers with the blogging community Yes, I also like the new theme! xxgail

  7. Frances says:

    Very pretty new theme, Dee, easy on the eyes! I bought one of these same plants in Florida this year and also have it in a container. It doesn’t mind the heat at all, I agree, and I want to bring it into the garage to try and winter it over. We can compare notes. 🙂

  8. Carol says:

    Does she attract hummingbirds? If I am going to succumb to a red flower, I want it to attract hummingbirds!

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