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Cuphea aff. aequipetala


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Cuphea aff. aequipetala
Degree of Difficulty
Easy
Degree of Difficulty
This plant is easy to grow in a variety of conditions.

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Description

(Mexican Loosestrife) The tempting, purple-to-magenta flowers of Cuphea aff. aequipetala attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds as well as gardeners who love color. Abundant blossoms flare into six-petal corollas at the end of long, cylindrical flowers.

San Francisco''s Strybing Arboretum notes that the floral structure of a Cuphea often is referred to as a calyx flower, because calyx and flower are one rather than being separate. In contrast to the somewhat humorous flowers of cigar and bat-face Cupheas, the blossoms of Mexican Loosestrife have elegant, solid-color faces. The petals of Cuphea blossoms with multi-colored faces are configured and colored in such a way that they appear to have upright mouse- or bat-like ears.\r\n

Lance-shaped, mid-green leaves cover the slender stems of this subshrub, which has both woody and soft herbaceous growth. Mexican Loosestrife forms a weed-suppressing mat of foliage that doesn''t attract deer.\r\n

Overall there are 260 species of Cupheas and most are native to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and parts of the American South. Many, including Mexican Loosestrife, are the subject of research concerning their prevalent use as livestock forage as well as phytochemicals that may be useful in treating cancer.\r\n

Mexican Loosestrife is long-blooming in climates where winters generally are warm. It thrives in full sun to partial shade. In areas with chilly winters, it works well as a houseplant or seasonal bedding choice. Outdoors, it is good choice for edging, container planting or groundcover. Although it thrives with average watering based on local conditions, this is a water-loving plant and can serve as a solution in moist areas of your yard.

Details

Product rating
 
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In stock
2 item(s) available

Common name  
Mexican Loosestrife
USDA Zones  
8 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
12"/48"/12"
Exposure  
Full sun to partial shade
Soil type  
Rich and well drained
Water needs  
Average to ample
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
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

8 - 11
8 - 11
12 inches tall
12 inches tall
48 inches wide
48 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover
Perennial
Perennial

Water Needs

Average water
Average water
Water loving
Water loving

Blooming Season

Fall blooming
Fall blooming
Spring blooming
Spring blooming
Summer blooming
Summer blooming

Wildlife

Butterflies
Butterflies
Deer resistant
Deer resistant
  • Cuphea salvadorensis

    (Salvador Cuphea)  Closely related to but distinct from Cuphea oreophylla, this rare species has small flowers in great profusion.  A spreading shrubby grower, it excells in containers where it can be enjoyed close up.

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

    This heat-tolerant Cuphea grows well in full sun to partial shade. In areas with chilly winters, it works well as a houseplant or seasonal bedding choice. Outdoors, it is good for edging, container planting and suppressing weeds as groundcover. Although it thrives with average watering based on local conditions, this is a water-loving plant and can serve as a solution in moist areas of your yard.

    Overall there are 260 species of Cupheas and most are native to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and parts of the American South.

    10.50
    New!
  • 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
  • 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

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Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield's Hummingbird Journey

Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield's Hummingbird Journey


Category: Sage Experts
Posted: Mar 28, 2016 03:23 PM
Synopsis: Renowned hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of southern Louisiana shares her journey from 1970s stay-at-home mom to citizen scientist and one of the nation's leading hummingbird researchers. This is the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's work and gardens, which abound with Salvias to feed hungry hummingbirds that overwinter in her suburban yard near New Orleans. It includes plant lists and the Louisiana Winter Hummingbird Project tally of banded hummingbirds from 1979 to 2015.
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.

Hey, got any greens?

If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.


  1. Mask smells that deer like with aromatic sages. Deer and other members of the Cervidae family, such as elk, mostly leave Salvias alone. One theory is that they don't like the fragrance or taste of sage chemicals. Strategically planting sages near vegetable gardens or fruit trees -- elixir to deer -- may prevent consumption.
  2. Grow hedges including Salvias. Prickly hedges, including hairy-leafed Salvias and exceptionally thorny roses, can discourage deer from entering your yard. They don't like the mouth-feel of those textures. Tall hedges also hide strawberry beds and other yummy plantings from view.
  3. Don't overplant one species. Grow a variety of Salvias in case local deer take an unexpected liking to one species of sage.
  4. Fence deer out. Install electric fences or 8-foot wood or metal fences around particularly vulnerable areas. Make sure electric fencing is turned on during the peak feeding seasons of early spring and late fall.
  5. Use motion-detection tools. Install outdoor lighting that is activated by movement.
  6. Let the dogs out. Deer are especially wary of large dogs.
  7. Surround and cover. Wrap tough plastic around the trunks of trees that have tasty bark and cover foliage with bird netting when trees and bushes are fruiting.
  8. Change yard ornaments periodically. Objects such as scarecrows, statuary and cordons of monofilament string with strips of shiny foil attached cause deer to shy away.
  9. Make safe choices. Research repellants you plan to use to make sure they aren't poisonous.
  10. Be flexible and ready to share a bit. There is no such thing as a completely deer-resistant garden.