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Flame Acanthus

Flame Acanthus

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Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, commonly known as Texas firecracker, is an upright, deciduous shrub that can grow up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, with a spreading and informal appearance. It is native to the extreme south-central region of Texas and the adjacent northern parts of Mexico, and it grows on rocky, calcareous slopes, and floodplains. The plant has slender, brittle stems with attractive, peeling bark. The leaves are small, nearly clasping, and have a lanceolate shape. During the bloom periods, which mostly occur from spring to late summer after rain, the plant produces abundant bright red-orange tubular flowers that are around 1-1.5 inches long. The plant is highly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators, but it is avoided by deer.

It is best to grow the Texas firecracker plant in medium to dry, well-draining soils in full sun, although it is adaptable to different soil types, including poor, rocky, and heavy clay soils. The plant is drought-tolerant and can be grown in a pot. In desert landscapes, occasional but regular summer irrigation may be required. The plant is hardy from Zones 7 to 10, and in colder areas, it dies back to the roots in winter and reemerges in the spring with new growth on top. While pruning is not necessary, the plant can be pruned for shape in the fall or cut back more severely every few years.

Butterfly Host Plant: Banded Peacock (Anartia Fatima); Tulcis Crecent (Anthanassa tulcis); Rosita Patch (Chlosyne rosita)

Height: 3’-5'
Spread: 3’-4'
Bloom: June-September
Light: Full sun, Part Shade, Dappled Shade
Water:  Low
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Origin: Texas & Mexico

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