Common name(s): Firebush, Hummingbird Bush, Scarlet Bush, and Redhead

Scientific name: Hamelia patens

Plant family: RUBIACEAE

Origin: Native to American subtropics and tropics

Description: Large, soft-stemmed, multi-trunked, evergreen shrub. Grows up to 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide as a perennial shrub. Grows up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide as an annual shrub. Produces orange-red flowers throughout the year and small, black, glossy berries. Leaves are gray and green with pink veins and turn red in the fall.

Growing Conditions: Easy to grow and low maintenance. Grows best in full sun or shade, fertile to sandy, moist and well-drained soils. The shrub is pest and disease resistant, heat tolerant, and drought tolerant. Grows fast and propagates by seed cuttings or air layers.

Wildlife: Flowers attract pollinators like hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees and the berries attract birds. Attacks of scales, mites, aphids, larvae, and moths are common.

Relation to Nehrling Gardens:

Location in Gardens: A-1

Additional Information: Great as a specimen plant and the fruit is edible.


Sponsored by: Bryan & Myrna Canin