This charming Florida native will delight everyone with beautiful orange-red flowers throughout most of the year. Firebush is a large, soft-stemmed shrub that reaches a height and width of 8 to 12 feet tall without support. A one foot tall specimen that is planted in the spring can be expected to reach 5 feet or more by the following winter. It can grow to 15 feet tall or more if given support on a trellis or other structure. Its evergreen leaves are covered with red tomentum (hairs) when young and are speckled with red or purple at maturity. The petiole and young stems also appear red. These attractive leaves are commonly arranged in whorls of 3. Bright orange-red flowers appear in forking cymes at the tips of the branches throughout the year. The slender flowers are tubular and reach a length of 1 to 1 ½ inches. Although tolerant of shade, flowering is much reduced.
Scientific name: Hamelia patens
Pronunciation: huh-MEE-lee-uh PAY-tenz
Common name(s): firebush, scarlet bush
Fact sheet: Firebush
Planted in Nassau County Extension Demonstration Garden
Sold at Nassau County Master Gardener Plant Sale