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Products > Dicliptera squarrosa
Dicliptera squarrosa - Firecracker Plant
Image of Dicliptera squarrosa
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthusą)
Origin: South America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Red
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [D. suberecta, D. sericea, Justicia suberecta]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10° F
Dicliptera squarrosa (Firecracker Plant) - A clump forming perennial to nearly 2 feet tall to about 3 feet wide with upright stems clothed with attractive broadly shaped triangular leaves that are covered with soft gray velvety hairs. The bright coral colored tubular flowers, with protruding stamen, bloom in compact terminal clusters rising above the foliage starting in early summer and the show lasts well into the fall when the plant then goes somewhat dormant through winter, though in our climate it remains evergreen. Plant in full sun in a decently well-draining soil and irrigate only occasionally to very little – it is a pretty tough drought tolerant plant! With mulch protection it is root hardy to just below 0°F with new growth emerging in spring and evergreen in California gardens unless temperatures drop much below 25°F . This is a great small showy plant with attractive foliage even before coral flowers dance above, making for an even more beautiful show and attracting hummingbirds and bees to the garden. It is so attractive to hummers that some call this plant Hummingbird Plant and because of the fuzzy leaves, deer and rabbits tend to leave it alone. This plant has a widespread distribution from Brazil south of the Amazon region west to the eastern slopes of the Andes in Bolivia and south into Uruguay and central Argentina. There seems to be much confusion on the correct specific epithet for this plant but it appears that the plant in cultivation is Dicliptera squarrosa, though it is often listed as Dicliptera suberecta or D. sericea and previous names include Jacobinia suberecta and Justicia suberecta. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'diklis' meaning "double-folding" and 'pteron' meaning a wing in reference to the two wing-like divisions in the capsule. The specific epithet "squarrosa" references the 4 sided projecting flowers. We first got our stock of this plant at the 1984 Huntington Botanic Gardens plant sale as Dicliptera suberecta and offered it under this name in our 1990 through 1999 catalogs. All of us at the nursery like this plant, but it has never really continuously sold that well. We have picked it back up and then discontinued producing it multiple times. Since it is still a favorite here, and the color oranges seems more popular again, we think maybe it is time we grow it again! 

This information about Dicliptera squarrosa 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.