Hamelia patens

Firebush

Rubiaceae

Plant Specifics

Form:Shrub
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Red
Fruit Color:Black
Phenology:
Noted for:Showy flowers, Hurricane wind resistance

Landscaping

Recommended Uses:Specimen or hedge plant. Also works well in informal background thickets.
Considerations:
  • This species is cold sensitive and will die back if it freezes
  • There are recent observations of the plant in north Florida where it appears to be naturalizing. This is "assissted migration" and could be an the that it may become invasive outside of its range
Propagation:

Readily available from native nurseries. Easily transplanted. May sucker and suckers can be moved. Readily grows from seed.
Plants sold at big box stores are usually not the native variety.

Availability:Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Quality nurseries
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:5.5 - 8.2

Ecology

Wildlife:
   

  • Birds and small mammals eat the fruits
  • Birds are noted for dispersing the seed
  • Hummingbirds come for nectar

Insects:
   

  • Larval host for the pluto sphinx moth
  • Butterflies, noted for attracting zebrawing 
  • Attracts sphinx moths 
  • Attracts long-tongued bees including bumblebees.

Native Habitats:

Dry sites. Coastal forests, upland forests, hammocks.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Comments

General Comments:

Closely related plants occur in the Caribbean and Central America. Yellow or orange flowering plants are not the Florida native.

In recent years plants have been found growing wild near homesites in north Florida -- what you plant can escape into the wild if planted beyond the natural range. Please plant responsibly - this plant has the potential to be invasive when used outside of its natural range.   Please act responsibly.