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Cuphea x purpurea


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Cuphea x purpurea

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Description

(Bat-Faced Cuphea) A tiny snout-like face emerges at the end of this Cuphea's tubular flower and beneath two red and purple petals shaped like bat ears. "Too cute!" is a typical response to these whimsical flowers that attract butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds.

Lance-shaped, mid-green leaves cover the slender stems of this petite subshrub, which has both woody and soft herbaceous growth. Most Cupheas are native to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. In the U.S. they are perennial in areas with warm winters.

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. While some Cupheas have no petals, bat-faced varieties have either 2 or 6.

Cuphea x purpurea is a hybrid of another Bat-Faced Cuphea (C. lavea) and Creeping Waxweed (C. procumbens), both of which have 6 petals.

This long-blooming magnet for pollinators grows well in full sun to partial shade. In areas with chilly winters, it works well as a houseplant or seasonal bedding choice. Outdoors, Cuphea x purpurea is excellent 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.

Details

Product rating
 
(1 reviews)  

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Common name  
Bat Faced Cuphea
USDA Zones  
9 - 11
Size (h/w/fh)  
12"/12"/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

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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
Partial shade
Partial shade

Garden Uses

Container plant
Container plant

Growing Habit

9 - 11
9 - 11
12 inches tall
12 inches tall
12 inches wide
12 inches wide
Ground cover
Ground cover

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
Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds
  • 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

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Salvia greggii alba x dorisiana

    (Alice's Sage) We have John Fisher of Australia to thank for this fascinating intraspecific cross, which he named after his daughter. It really looks to be intermediate between the parents, and the fragrance of the leaves is divine.

    Salvia greggii is a warm season blooming hardy perennial - S. dorisiana is a tender winter blooming shrub.  This plant has some cold tolerance, but should be protected outside of Zone 9.  We find it does best in rich soil in partial but not deep shade.  Overwatering is not advised, but neither is dryness.  If you are looking for something unigue and with a strong fruity fragrance, this variety is for you.

    This year we are growing one in a container by the door, so as to be able to enjoy the fragrance every time we pass.

    11.50

    OUT OF STOCK

    New!
  • Cuphea oreophila

    (Orange Bat-Faced Cuphea) A corolla of irregularly sized petals -- two tall and four short -- give the opening of this Cuphea's bright red-orange flowers a bat-like look. Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds love the abundant, nectar-rich, cylindrical blossoms that flower nearly year round in areas with mild climates.

    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 more humorous bat faces of bicolor Cupheas, the blossoms of Cuphea oreophila are a solid color except for some variation in the red of the petals.

    In Greek, oreo refers to "mountain" and phila means "to love." Put the terms together and you have a "mountain-loving" plant. However, it grows beautifully in low-altitude coastal areas as well.

    Lance-shaped, mid-green leaves cover the slender stems of this subshrub, which has both woody and soft herbaceous growth. Orange Bat-Faced Cuphea forms a weed-suppressing mat of foliage.

    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

    OUT OF STOCK

  • 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 'David Verity'

    (David Verity Cigar Plant) Cuphea flowers are hummingbird magnets, especially the orange-red blooms of the David Verity hybrid. The blossoms have been likened to cigars due to their tubular shape and hot coloring that ends with a slightly flared and fringed yellow opening instead of petals.

    Sometimes the blossoms of David Verity and other cigar-shaped Cupheas are called firecracker flowers. Butterflies also love them.

    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.

    David Verity's blossoms are larger than those of most cigar Cupheas. Lance-shaped, blue-green leaves cover the slender stems of this subshrub, which has both woody and soft herbaceous growth.

    It's thought that the heat-tolerant David Verity is a cross between Cuphea ignea and Cuphea micropetala. Overall there are 260 species of Cupheas and most are native to Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and parts of the American South.

    David Verity 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, it is a fine edging or container plant as well as a 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.

    10.50
  • Salvia splendens ‘Sao Borja’

    (Sao Borja Scarlet Sage) Three-inch-long, smokey purple blossoms that bloom from spring to fall are a major clue that this heat-tolerant perennial is not your grandmother's Scarlet Sage.

    Even when grown as an annual, Salvia splendens 'Sao Borja' brings a tropical look to any garden by reaching an impressive height of 6 feet or taller in one season.

    This Brazilian native grows well in USDA Zones 9 to 11 where it is a tender perennial that may return yearly to the warmest parts of its range. 

    Sao Borja was discovered in the port city of Sao Borja, which is named after Spain's Saint Francis Borgia. The city is located on the Uruguay River, across from Argentina and in Rio Grande do Sul, which is the southernmost state of Brazil and borders the Atlantic coast.

    To succeed, Sao Borja Scarlet Sage needs partial shade all day or a combination of morning sun and afternoon shade. It also requires rich soil and ample water for a spring surge of growth that needs to be seen to be believed. Use it as a screen, an accent plant or in a container, which will limit size.

    Highly recommended.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

  • Salvia splendens van houttei 'Dancing Flame'

    (Variegated Scarlet Sage) Crimson flowers topping bright yellow foliage mottled with deep green make this one of the most spectacular Salvias we grow. There are numerous clones of this variety of the tender perennial throughout the U.S. nursery trade, but we consider ours to be the best, as it originated in our nursery.

    Meet its needs and Salvia splendens van houttei 'Dancing Flame' is easy to grow. Plant it in partial to full shade where you can give it rich, well-drained soil and regular watering.

    Although short and compact, this Scarlet Sage is dramatic in woodland gardens and annual flowerbeds as well as in patio containers and indoors as a houseplant. Outdoors, it is an annual in colder zones and a tender perennial in warmer ones where it can bloom 12 months a year.

    Seasonally available and limited.

    10.50

    OUT OF STOCK

Average customer rating:
 
(1 reviews)  



1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Ms. Rosemarie Levine
Jul 11, 2017
The plant came in great condition and it is blooming and growing beautifully. I highly recommend this plant for the flowers it produces and the hummingbirds it attracts.
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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.