Cuphea for hummingbirds

There is no secret the tubular flowers are mostly liked by hummingbirds. The shape of the flower is just perfect for the long bill and the nectar can be reached easily. Also, so many flowers count on hummingbirds for pollination.  Cuphea’s flowers are so beautiful and so much liked by hummingbirds.

pagecupheaI have three Cupheas in my hummingbird garden. I like all of them and I sit nearby with my camera ready to catch the magical hummingbird dance hovering around the flowers.

This one is Mexican Cigar or Cuphea ignea and probably the hybrid named David Verity (c.ignea x c.micropetala). The small tubular flowers in red-orange color are tipped with a thin withe-silver rim and two very tiny purple petals that suggest a lit cigar.

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It is an annual flower for my zone 5, and winter hardy for zones 10-12. Awesome flower, easy to grow from seeds, plant in full sun, moderate water. It will tolerate some drought but it will do the best with regular watering.

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I was so happy to found them at the nursery and I’ve got three nicely grown plants almost ready to bloom. However, I have started a few from seeds and I planted them in a flower bed out in the garden. I may say that the ones in pots didn’t grow so tall and bushy like the ones in the ground.

To make the plant bushier pinch the stems as needed to maintain a good shape. They can grow as tall as 30″ or more in warmer areas.

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This is one hummingbird enjoying the Mexican Cigar and for sure it’s a good hummingbird flower, from how much visited it was.

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Cuphea Ilavea, another magnet for hummers, in two shapes: one looks like Batface and the other one with smaller petals I would call Mouseface, because I didn’t get the name tag when I purchased it. Anyhow, doesn’t matter, for the beauty and joy it gives away, for me and the hummingbirds.

The flowers are obviously different, the same tubular shape but the petals are bigger and bright red with a purple center . They need the same sunny area and water with moderation.  Hummingbirds are so happy around them and some of them were guarding the area very carefully.

DSCN1562Can you see the one hummingbird there?

DSCN7041Cuphea can become a little bit leggy so pinch the stems to keep them in good shape.

DSCN3333I planted the in a sunny place together with a few annual Salvias and they made a great playground for the hummingbirds.

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The other Cuphea Ilavea might be a Batface hybrid and from the look of the flower it really look line one batface 🙂 The petals are visible larger than the other one. I noticed they they self-seed and the seeds were very well alive after the cold winters in Ontario. I have plants from the seeds I saved in fall. I have this plant in my garden for two summers already.

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This bumble bee is too big for such a small flower… is this a hug???

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Plant Cuphea where ever you want a nice and bright color all summer.  Plant a mass of plants near a window or the patio where you can enjoy the hordes of butterflies and hummingbirds sipping the reach nectar. of these beautiful flowers.

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2 responses to “Cuphea for hummingbirds

  1. Really nice images! Cupheas are great plants for hummingbirds, we plant every year one ‘bat-face’ somewhere in the garden/container. A great annual flower here, it flowers profusely till late fall. I didn’t see any hummingbirds around, although who knows what’s happening when I’m away from home 🙂 Lots of other interesting Cuphea species in Mexico, maybe they’ll start to show up on the market.

    • Hi Gaby…I hope nurseries will bring in more Cupheas. The “mice face” wasn’t too easy to get seeds, actually I am not sure what I collected are viable seeds, and I know for sure they have been pollinated by lots of hummingbirds.
      And I am sure a few hummingbirds visited your Batface in the garden..because they can’t resist to this plant! 🙂

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