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Products > Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker'
Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker' - Firecracker Island Snapdragon
Image of Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Figworts)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Gambelia speciosa, G. 'Boca Rosa']
Height: 3-4 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker' (Firecracker Island Snapdragon) A mounding fast growing evergreen native California shrub that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall by 4 to 6 feet wide with arching branches holding slightly hairy oval pale green leaves and deep red 1 inch long snapdragon like flowers at the branch tips over a long period from late winter to fall. Plant in full to part sun in coastal gardens, but best in part sun to shade in inland gardens. It is drought tolerant once established, but is more attractive with occasional summer irrigation and requires this away from the coast. Cold hardy to 20-25 F and tolerates near coastal conditions, wind and clay soils. Can be pruned hard in late winter to shape and control size. This is great native plant for use as a low hedge or accent plant in dry shady areas and is attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Galvezia speciosa is native to rocky canyons and bluffs in coastal sage scrub below 3,000 feet on San Clemente and Santa Catalina Island and in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands with a disjunct population on Guadalupe Island off of Baja California. The "new" name as listed in the Jepson Manual for this plant is Gambelia speciosa, a name honoring William Gambel (1821-1849), a medical doctor, explorer and good friend and assistant of Thomas Nuttall, arguably the greatest American field naturalist. Gambel explored Southern California in 1841-42, including Santa Catalina Island where he discovered this plant that Nuttall first named to honor his friend. The great American Botanist Asa Gray later reduced it to a species of Antirrhinum as Antirrhinum speciosum and it was later combined with South American plants in the genus Galvezia. More recent phylogenetic work on the Antirrhinum clade found that these northern American plants were more distantly related and the former name was resurrected. . We choose to continue to list this plant by its more familiar older name for the time being so not to confuse staff and customers with a name change of such a familiar plant. 'Firecracker' is a seedling selection introduced by Tree of Life Nursery in 1984. We include a bit more information about this species with our listing of the larger and a bit more floriferous Galvezia speciosa 'Bocarosa' introduced by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation, which we have grown since it introduction in 1980. 

This information about Galvezia speciosa 'Firecracker' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.