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Cantua buxifoloa


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Cantua buxifoloa



Degree of Difficulty
Challenging
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is can be challenging to grow in conditions outside those in which it is found in the wild.

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Description

(Sacred flower of the Incas) Long reddish blossoms with flared, trumpet-like corollas and bright blue pollen contrast with mid-green foliage in the long-blooming, South American species Cantua buxifolia.

To be more specific about color, the flowers are magenta to red-orange. They grow in clusters of 12 or more on these tall shrubs that are evergreen in areas with mild winter temperatures. In its native lands, this heat tolerant plant grows on the margins of forests. For best results, give it full sun to partial shade and rich, well-drained soil. You'll be rewarded with visits from butterflies and hummingbirds.

Mostly known as "Kantu" or "Cantuta" in Peru and Bolivia where it is considered a national flower, Cantua buxifolia also grows in the Yungas mountains of Northern Argentina. Aside from reds, different varieties of the species offer pink, yellow and white flowers.

Cantua is a Latinization of qantu -- the species' original name from the native Quechuan people of the Andes. Buxifolia refers to the shrub's boxwood-style foliage.

Considered sacred in Andean cultures, reddish Kantu flowers often are used decoratively during during holy days. Perhaps because of their sizeable, tubular flowers, Kantu is a word also used to describe musical groups that play Andean flutes similar to pan pipes.

Details

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In stock
2 item(s) available

Common name  
Sacred Flower of the Incas
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
72"/72"/72"
Exposure  
Full sun
Soil type  
Rich and well drained
Water needs  
Average
Pot size  
3 1/2 inch deep pot
Container plant?  
Yes
Our price
10.50

Options

Quantity (2 available)




Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
Click on an individual icon for more detailed information.

Exposure

Full sun
Full sun
Heat tolerant
Heat tolerant

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
72 inches tall
72 inches tall
72 inches wide
72 inches wide
Shrub
Shrub

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Butterflies
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
  • Sinningia 'Shelby'

    (Shelby Hardy Gloxinia) Shelby's long, tubular, creamy pink flowers dangle from apple-green, leaf-like calyxes. Fuzzy red petioles connect the flowers to deep red stems rising above rich green foliage. This Suncrest Nurseries hybrid of two South American species can handle a bit of winter chill.

    Hummingbirds enjoy gloxinias. By planting Shelby Hardy Gloxinia and other hummingbird favorites in a setting devised for close-up observation, you have a front-row seat for hummer antics during the growing season. It's a fine choice for a patio planter or rock garden.

    The flower tubes of gloxinias are referred to as having fused petals. Some, such as Shelby's white-flowered, hybrid parent Sinningia incarnata, are barrel-shaped similar to a cigar-style Cuphea. Others, such as Shelby and its second parent plant, the red-flowered species S. tubiflora, have lacy corollas at their openings. Similar to most Sinningias, Shelby's roots are tuberous.

    The elliptical, veined leaves are also interesting due to being smooth with a slightly pitted texture and having fine eyelash hairs on their edges.

    This is a petite perennial that prefers rich, well-drained soil and locations with full sun to partial shade. As part of the Sinningia genus, it's a member of the Gesneriad family (Gesneriaceae), which is probably best known for African Violets (Saintpaulia genus).

    Sinningias are named for Willhelm Sinning (1792-1874) who was a gardener at Germany's University of Bonn Botanical Garden. Sinning co-authored the 1825 book A Collection of Beautiful Flowering Plants, which contained one of the first botanical illustrations of a gloxinia.

    10.50
  • Cantua buxifolia 'Golden Inca'

    (Golden Sacred flower of the Incas) Long, golden-yellow flowers with a rosy blush to their flared, trumpet-like corollas contrast with mid-green foliage in this long-blooming variety of the South American species Cantua buxifolia.

    The flowers grow in clusters of 12 or more on these tall shrubs, which are evergreen in areas with mild winter temperatures. In its native lands, this heat tolerant species grows on the margins of forests. For best results, give it full sun to partial shade and rich, well-drained soil. You'll be rewarded with visits from butterflies and hummingbirds.

    Mostly known as "Kantu" or "Cantuta," this floriferous shrub grows in the Yungas mountains of Northern Argentina and is considered a national plant in Peru and Bolivia. It comes in a variety of floral colors, including pink, red, yellow and white.

    Cantua is a Latinization of qantu -- the species' original name from the native Quechuan people of the Andes. Buxifolia refers to the shrub's boxwood-style foliage.

    Considered sacred in Andean cultures, reddish Kantu flowers are particularly popular for decoration during holy days. Kantu is a word also used to describe musical groups that play Andean flutes similar to pan pipes; this may be due to the sizable, flute-shaped flowers of the genus.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Cuphea x 'Kristen's Delight'

    (Kristen's Delightful Cigar Plant) Hummingbirds and butterflies love Cupheas. Kristen's Delightful Cigar Plant is a spectacularly colorful hybrid that is also a magnet for gardeners who love the pastels and abundance of its bicolor flowers.

    Kristen's blossoms and those of many Cupheas are likened to cigars due to their cylindrical shape, bright coloring and fringed openings that end in a lighter color -- such as Kristen's white tips -- giving the flower an ashy look. However, this plant also bears similarities to "bat-face" Cupheas, due to tiny lavender petals that emerge from the tips and look like ears.

    San Francisco's Strybing Arboretum notes that the floral structure of a Cuphea often is referred to as a calyx flower, because its calyx and flower are one rather than being separate.

    Lance-shaped, blue-green leaves cover the slender stems of this Cuphea, which has both woody and soft herbaceous growth. Overall there are 260 species of Cupheas and most are native to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and parts of the American South.

    Kristen's Delightful Cigar Plant is long blooming in moderate climates where it grows well in full sun to partial shade. In areas with cooler winters, it works well as a houseplant or seasonal bedding choice.

    Outdoors, this heat-tolerant plant is a fine edging or container choice as well as groundcover. Although it thrives with average watering based on local conditions, this is a water-loving Cuphea and can serve as a solution in moist areas of your yard.

    10.50
  • Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse'

    (Minnie Mouse Ears) Floriferous and heat tolerant, Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse' is is also a long-blooming addition to wildlife gardens. Similar to Salvias, Cupheas are rich sources of nectar that fuel hummingbird migration. Bees, butterflies and hoverflies are among the other pollinators that love this genus.

    The tiny, bright red-orange flowers of Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse' don't have true corollas, but each blossom has two dark purple petals at its tip, which stand up like elongated mouse ears and form a "face" complete with whiskery stamen poking out of the flower's tube.

    Similar to all Cupheas, Minnie Mouse has barrel-shaped blossoms that merge flower with calyx and are called tube-calyx flowers. It is a member of the Lythraceae family and a fine companion plant in Salvia gardens.

    Overall there are 260 species of Cupheas and most are native to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and parts of the American South. Face-type Cupheas have two to six petals at the opening to their tubes. The two-petal types sometimes are also called bat- or bunny-ear Cupheas.

    Other members of the Cuphea genus have no petals and are called cigar or firecracker Cupheas due to their hot colors, shape and raggedy tips that look like they are smoldering.

    Cupheas are perennial in climates with moderate winters where they grow well in full sun to partial shade. Outdoors, they are fine groundcover, edging or container plants. Although they thrive with average watering based on local conditions, Cupheas are water-loving plants that can serve as a solution in moist areas of your yard. In areas with cooler winters, Cuphea 'Minnie Mouse' can be a houseplant or seasonal bedding choice.

    10.50
  • Salvia melissodora

    (Grape Scented Sage) With the grape scent of its pale lavender blossoms and its long history of medicinal use, it is no surprise that this sage is so widely distributed.

    The indigenous Tarahumara people of Northern Mexico have used this sage for centuries to treat a variety of infirmities. For the gardener today, it offers drought resistance and heat tolerance along with fragrance and color.

    Although it can grow up to 6 feet tall in its native habitat, Grape Scented Sage generally averages growth of 3 feet tall and wide in home gardens. Nevertheless, it is mighty in its ability to ensure pollination in your garden because...
     

    Warning!  This is a powerful hummingbird, honeybee and butterfly magnet!


    Another benefit is that although humans and small wildlife find it intoxicating, deer don't.

    For a lovely combination, group the lavender and green of Grape Scented Sage with other plants that have strong blue or yellow flowers and which bloom from summer into fall. Give it full sun and well drained soil.

    In the home garden, it makes a fine screen, border or background planting. It also does well in containers and cut-flower gardens. Despite its ability to get by on little water, it is adaptable to average water areas of the yard in very well drained soil. It's a winner.

     

    10.50
  • Salvia wagneriana

    (Wagner's Sage) From November to March, Wagner's Sage produces lavish, hot pink flowers with pink bracts at our Northern California coastal farm. It is is a superb source of food for the Anna's hummingbirds that live here during winter.

    Come snow, ice or temperatures as low as 20 degrees, it keeps on blooming. This tall Salvia is a sub-shrub, which means that it has both woody and soft herbaceous perennial growth.

    Wagner's Sage comes from the cloud forests of Southern Mexico and Central America. This tropical beauty is so spectacular that, historically, it has been one of the few native plants cultivated in the home gardens of people in its native lands.

    A large plant that averages about 6 feet tall and wide, Wagner's Sage can easily grow 10 feet tall and wide if conditions are right. You can keep it smaller and more dense by pruning in mid to late summer before the large, prolific blossoms emerge on foot-long flower spikes. They rise up amid equally dramatic, bright green leaves that are triangular and soft as felt.

    Give it space, rich, well-drained soil and average to ample watering in full sun to partial shade. Plant it at the back of shrub borders and cut-flower gardens. This is an ideal plant for moist woodland gardens in USDA Zones 8 to 11.

    This species was named by 19th century plant explorer Helmuth Polakowsky (1847-1917) of Germany, who specialized in Central American flora. Although we aren't certain, it is likely that he named it for his somewhat older contemporary Moritz Wagner (1813-1887), a friend of Charles Darwin and a botanist who is especially well known for his exploraration of Costa Rica.

    Highly recommended.
    10.50
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I like Amstiad

Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.


  1. Go tubular. Hummingbirds need tubular flowers that are easy for long, thin beaks to access.
  2. Provide lots of color. Think of yourself as a cafeteria manager who needs to provide many tempting choices in order to attract business. Red, pink, orange and purple sages are particularly powerful hummingbird magnets.
  3. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based not only on color but also a broad span of bloom times. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons. Numerous winter-blooming species are available for areas that are home to hummingbirds year round.
  4. Grow sages native to the Western Hemisphere. Although hummingbirds will take advantage of many kinds of tubular flowering plants, these tiny birds are native to the Western Hemisphere and prefer flowering plants native to their half of the world.
  5. Select Salvia companion plants. Hummingbirds appreciate a variety of favorite tubular-flowered plants.
  6. Plant hummingbird gardens near cover. Trees and bushes surrounding feeding areas provide protection from predators and chilly, rainy weather.
  7. Don't use pesticides. Insects provide protein for hummingbirds, so don't kill these food sources.
  8. Provide water. Hummingbirds frolic in misters and shallow birdbaths.
  9. Supplement plantings with feeder tubes. Change the sugar water every few days and don't add food coloring. Keep the feeders clean, but don't scrub them with soaps or detergents. Here is more feeder care information.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about hummingbirds.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:


  1. Plant sages with platform-type blossoms. Unlike hummingbirds, butterflies can't hover while feeding. Sages with large lower lips and short nectar tubes, such as those in the Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla) group, give butterflies a place to stand while gathering nectar and pollen.
  2. Provide lots of color and sunlight. Butterflies need to stay warm and are attracted to a broad range of flower colors.
  3. Include native species. Insects and plants have co-evolved to meet each other's needs within their native regions. Butterflies prefer feeding on their local, native perennials and shrubs.
  4. Grow Caterpillar Host Plants. Butterflies need baby nurseries. Some are extremely picky about the plants on which they lay eggs, such as Monarchs, which need milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). The North American Butterfly Association is a good source of information about host plants.
  5. Don't use pesticides. They kill many beneficial insects, including butterflies.
  6. Keep your garden blooming. Plant a variety of Salvias based on bloom times as well as color and shape. Many flower from spring into fall. Others are prolific fountains of nectar for shorter seasons.
  7. Provide puddles. Butterflies stay hydrated by splashing in puddles located in sunny spots on the ground or raised up in shallow birdbaths. Include rocks for basking; butterflies need to dry and warm their wings.
  8. Plant butterfly gardens near shelter. Butterflies need to be able to flee into trees, shrubbery and woodpiles when predators appear and when windy or rainy weather occurs.
  9. Supplement plantings with rotten fruit. Some butterflies love the juice of rotting fruit even more than nectar.
  10. Read more. Our Everything Salvias Blog offers a number of articles about butterflies.