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Hamelia patens

Pronunciation: ham-EE-lee-uh PAT-ens
Family: Rubiaceae
Synonym: Hamelia erecta
Common Name: Firebush, Scarlet Bush, Hummingbird Bush
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 12 feet
Width to: 8 feet
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • repeat bloomer
Bloom Description: Throughout the year, Firebush (Hamelia patens) produces showy terminal cymes of red-orange tubular flowers, each about 0. 75 in (1. 9 cm), long. Even the flower stems are red. The clusters of fruit also are showy. Each fruit is a juicy berry with many small seeds, ripening from green to yellow to red and finally to black.
Soil Type: prefer moderately fertile, well drained soil. Tolerates acidic, alkaline, sand, loam and clay;
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Attracts Hummingbirds
  • Attracts Butterflies
Pests and Diseases: no serious pests or diseases are normally found on this plant
Propagation: Propagate Firebush (Hamelia patens) by soft wood cuttings in spring or by seed.
Native to: Florida, The West Indies, Central America, South America to Paraguay and Bolivia.
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

It grows on shell mounds, in hammocks and in open, disturbed sites.

Care:  Once established, firebush is drought tolerant, but it does best with frequent watering as long as the soil has excellent drainage. Water weekly during the first year after transplanting.

In zones 9-11 firebush is used in hedges, in mixed borders with other small shrubs, and as a stand-alone shrub. It can be kept small by pruning. Firebush is a valuable addition to butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and in south Florida is often planted in wildlife gardens with other native shrubs such as American beautyberry, coral bean and wild coffee. Firebush is salt tolerant and will grow in any kind of soil as long as it is well drained.

Where grown as an annual, firebush is best in mass plantings and borders, and is especially attractive with white-flowered annuals. Firebush also does well in containers where it can be placed on a patio in summer and brought inside to a sunny location during the winter.  Source: Floridata

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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