Category Archives: Flowers

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.

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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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How pretty am I???

Watching the hummingbirds is always amazing.  I spend lots of time waiting for the big -wonderful shot, and I always have my camera ready. But these little birds are so very fast, and my camera clicks a second late almost every time.  I didn’t get “THE” picture, but some of them are really funny.  Browsing through the summer’s photos brings me back to the sunny days.

They come back at the feeder almost every 15 minutes; some of them fly back very quickly, others are taking time for resting and guarding.  Perching at the feeder is not very often,  but they will fly somewhere close and watch the feeders from any intruders.

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A good and healthy meal: catching small flying insects will provide the protein needed. Look at that tongue! good for sipping the nectar and fly-catching as well.

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Preening, scratching and stretching…

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A nap after a good meal? I don’t know if they really nap, but those eyes are closed for sure 🙂

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My last thought: aren’t they so pretty??? The delicate body shape, those dark eyes with a small white spot in the corner of the eye.  And the shiny emerald like green… totally addictive.

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My first Hummingbird photos

This is one of the first pictures taken this summer, July 2010. I tried so many times to capture the image of this beautiful birds. I am so thrilled to see them at the feeder, that I simply forget about the camera. And they are so fast, it takes only 6 seconds and they are gone!That day, I took a few shots one after another, and I was so happy! Finally, the hummingbirds are here and we can see them at the feeder. First days I learned about two of them: one was  Bossy and the other one was Shy… it is obviously why this names, eh?