Hummingbirds and Gardeners Agree…

This plant is a winner! Once you have one you’re probably not going to want to garden without it again. At least not in the southern two-thirds of Texas where it’s dependably winter-hardy.

You can see why the plant is so popular. It smothers itself in small, tubular flowers and it stands up to the heat as well.
Continued Below

The facts about this great little plant…
Native to the Hill Country and southwest into Mexico.
Grows in calcareous, rocky outcroppings.
Grows to 4 to 5 ft. tall and wide in South Texas; not that tall in North Texas where it frequently freezes to the ground and regrows from its roots (acting more like a perennial).
Root-hardy to Dallas/Fort Worth and the I-20 corridor and southward. May be lost in extreme winters toward the north end of its range.
Handles full Texas sun, heat and relatively dry conditions.
Blooms for many weeks in the summer.
Its small, tubular flowers are hummingbird magnets.

This is a clump of flame acanthus that I photographed in McKinney just a couple of weeks ago. It was too hot for butterflies or hummingbirds to be working the blooms while I was there, but I’ll bet they had been busy earlier in the morning. This plant is such a delight.

I’m a big fan of understated plants that do their jobs without calling out a lot of attention to themselves. Plants like Mexican heather and fall aster really excite me, and so does this one. It’s just a little shrub until it suddenly bursts into bloom – and then just look at what you have!

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top