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 Weather Station

Products > Bouvardia ternifolia
Bouvardia ternifolia - Firecracker Bush

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rubiaceae (Madders)
Origin: North America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Bouvardia ternifolia (Firecracker Bush) A small upright shrub to growing 2 to 4 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide with erect slightly arching stems bearing small shiny, oval, dark-green leaves held in whorls. In mid spring until fall appear the attractive brilliant scarlet trumpet-shaped red flowers in clusters at the ends of the branches with individual flowers having narrow 2 inch long tubes and 4 flaring petals. Plant in full to part sun in well-drained neutral to acid soil and in an open area with good air circulation. Is moderately dry growing but looks best with regular to occasional irrigation. Remains evergreen in warmer frost free locations and is decidous in colder areas - usedfull in USDA climate zones 8 and above and useful as a root hardy perennial or an annual below. Lightly trim off spent flowers to maintain a compact shape. Firecracker Bush is a very attractive plant when in bloom and useful as a potted specimen or planted out in and easily viewed location in the garden where it attracts, and provides nectar for, hummingbirds, bees and butterflys. It is native from Central America throughout the Mexican highlands north in west Texas, New Mexicao and Arizona where it grows in rocky dry mountanous areas and canyons from 2,500 to 9,00 feet). Other common names include Scarlet Bouvardia, Trumpet Flower, Scarlet Hummingbird Flower, Trompetilla (which means little trumpet for the flower shape) and Clavillo. The name for the genus honors Charles Bouvard (1572 -1658) the superintendent of the Jardin du Roin in Paris. The specific epithet comes from the Latin words 'terni' meaning the number 3 and 'folia' meaning leaf in reference to the leaves that are typically held in 3s in a whorl. We first purchased this plant at a Huntington Botanic Garden plant sale in 1986 but more recently (2016) received cuttings of it from Corey Welles of Lotusland  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  Bouvardia ternifolia.