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Products > Justicia rizzinii
Justicia rizzinii - Firecracker Flower

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus¹)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Justicia floribunda, Jacobinia pauciflora]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Justicia rizzinii (Firecracker Flower) A small compact evergreen shrub that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall with small dark to mid-green colored leaves and clusters of yellow and red flowers that appear in winter to early spring - the nodding 3/4 of an inch tubular flowers are yellow at the tips and blending to red at the base. This plant is often listed as summer to fall blooming but for us it seems to flower mostly in the cooler months with a scatted flowering later. Plant in full coastal sun to shade inland - give some protection from cold if temperatures drop below 27 F. Very attractive to people and hummingbirds. This plant comes from forests of northeastern Argentina in the Misiones Province and southeastern Brazil in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana and it is speculated that it may range into nearby Paraguay. The name for the genus honors James Justice a prominent eighteenth century Scottish horticulturalist and gardener. The specific epithet honors Brazilian plant taxonomist Carlos Rizzini. Other common names include Firefly, Spanish Flag and, though unrelated to the true fuchsia, Brazilian Fuchsia. This plant received the prestigious Royal Horticulture Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Though we continue to list this plant as Justicia rizzinii, the current correct name for this taxa is actually Justicia floribunda (as described in the 1998 issue of Darwiniana 35(1-4) pgs 151-154) because it was first described as Libonia floribunda by the German Botanist Karl Koch in 1836, but since it remains most common in the trade under the name Justicia rizzinii, we continue to use this until such time as Justicia floribunda becomes more widely used. Our first cuttings of this plant were taken (with permission) in 2006 from a planting at the Huntington Botanic Garden, where it is growing as a low hedge in deep shade.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Justicia rizzinii.