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 Weather Station

Products > Russelia equisetiformis
Russelia equisetiformis - Coral Fountain

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figworts)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 4-5 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Russelia equisetiformis (Coral Fountain) - A multi-branching, evergreen (in our climate) subshrub with 4 to 5 foot long arching 4-angled stems that have leaves that have been reduced to very small scale-like ovate leaflets. Both stems and leaves are a bright green color and new grow starts erect but rapidly bends over to form a graceful mound. In full sun the stems and leaves can take on a reddish tint. Primarily in spring and summer, the tips of the branches are graced with bright red tubular flowers, but flowering can occur any time of the year with flower buds only dropping off if temperatures become too cool. Plant in full sun to deep shade though flowering is far better out in full sun or where it can at least get half day sun. Tolerates wind, desert heat and most any soil with medium drainage but does requires fairly regular to occasional irrigation to look its best - can be kept drier in shade but does not bloom well. Stems are and evergreen to around 25 F and can resprout from the base after a freeze. In colder climates it can be brought indoors for the winter where it reportedly can bloom if in a bright window. Great for a large pot or used spilling over a wall. Can be trained up a trellis to make a taller more vertical plant and is an excellent plant for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden and is listed by some as being resistant to deer predation. This species is grows naturally from Mexico south to Guatemala. The name Russelia was given to the genus by the Dutch scientist Baron Nikolaus von Jacquin (1727-1817) to honor the Scottish naturalist Alexander Russell (17151768). The specific epithet means "like Equisetum" in reference to this plants resemblance to the a horse tail rush. It has also been described as Russelia juncea, an epithet that would refer to it being "rush-like". Another common name for this plant is Firecracker Plant. We have grown this plant since 1996 and also grow the paler pink form called 'Flamingo Park'.This plant received the prestigious Royal Horticulture Award of Garden Merit in 1993.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Russelia equisetiformis.