Friends of the Port St Lucie Botanical Gardens

​​Firecracker

Russelia equisetiformis

  • Common Name: Firecracker (other common names: Fountainbush, Coral Plant, Coral Blow)
  • Scientific Name: Russelia equisetiformis
  • Family Name: Scrophulariaceae
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Height: 3’-5’
  • Width: 6’-12’
  • Growth: Moderate, aggressively spreading plant.             
  • Zone: 9B - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun for best flowering and the fullest growth.
  • Salt Tolerance: Medium
  • Soil/PH/Texture: Tolerant of different types of soils as long as they are well-drained, sand, loam, and clay. It prefers mildly acidic- mildly alkaline (pH 6.1 – 7.8.
  • Soil Moisture: Moderate/average, needs well-drained soil.
  • Drought Tolerance: High drought and heat tolerance.
  • Pests/Diseases: Long-term health usually not affected by pests but is occasionally bothered by chewing insects, nematodes, and mites.
  • Growing Conditions: Easy to grow.
  • Characteristics: This deciduous evergreen has rare, asparagus-like, green leaves with a blade length of 2”-4” that are opposite/subopposite, dentate margins, and ovate in leaf shape. Its flowers of 1” length are red – pale yellow, look like little firecrackers and appear year-round in warm climates.
  • Propagation: Division, layers and tip or stem cuttings. Remember to deadhead if you do not want automatic seedlings for the next season.
  • Wildlife: Attracts bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Facts: Earned the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticulture Society in 1993.
  • Designer Considerations: Specimen, foundation, border, mass plantings, cascading down a wall, accent, hedge, tall ground cover, hanging basket with drooping branches, or container plant (3 gal. or larger with excellent drainage) for patio. Also perfect for xeriscaping.​​
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Firecracker