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Products > Cuphea micropetala
 
Cuphea micropetala - Candy Corn Plant
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Lythraceae (Loosestrife)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow & Orange
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [C. melvilla]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 3-4 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Cuphea micropetala (Candy Corn Plant) - A fast growing evergreen shrub that grows to 2 to 3 feet tall by a bit wider with oppositely arranged narrow rough textured lanceolate leaves that are two to six inches long tapering at both the base and tip and clothe the arching red stems. In late summer through late fall appear the tubular flowers, technically a floral tube made up of a fused calyx and corolla, that are borne in leafy terminal racemes. The flowers when first emerging are yellow and age to orange from the base up, giving many of the flowers a two-toned appearance, and have long exerted stamens and exude a slightly sticky substance that makes the inside of the flower glisten. Clumps spread outwards by rhizomes. Plant in light shade to full sun (coastal) with regular to occasional irrigation. It is the hardiest of the Cuphea and evergreen to about 25-30 F but root hardy to much lower temperatures - a visitor to our website informed us that it comes back from the roots every year in their Suffolk, Virginia garden so possibly usable as a perennial to USDA Zone 7b. Can be cut to the ground in late winter to early spring to keep the plant tidy. A great plant for fall color as it displays the orange and reds associated with this harvest season and is very attractive to bees and hummingbirds. This species grows naturally from Colima south as far as Oaxaca, Mexico. The name for the genus comes from the the Greek word 'kyphos' (??f??) which means "bent", "curved", or "humped" in reference to the curved floral tube which is often slightly swollen on one side though some references not this might refer to the fruit or the hypanthium (flower receptacle). The specific epithet refers to the tiny petals at the lip of the floral tube. Cuphea micropetala is also sometimes commonly called Giant Firecracker Plant or Cigar Plant, but this later name is more often used for the smaller Cuphea ignea. We got this great plant at a Huntington Botanic Garden Sale in 1988 and have offered it in our catalogs since 1990.  The information on this page is based on our research that has been conducted on this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in the nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we have observed it. We also have incorporated 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 Cuphea micropetala.