Cuphea ignea – Cigar Flower

P1000275 (1024x768)A much under-rated skill in the garden is the recognition of seedlings – are they friend or are they foe?  We do not want to waste time nurturing young weeds but if one of our plants has done us the service of propagating itself it would be foolish for their offspring to end up on the compost heap. Some, such as aquilegia and foxgloves are easy to spot, sometimes you just get an inkling that something is out of the ordinary.  Earlier this year I noticed a couple of groups of unidentified seedlings on the road bank, clustered together so unlikely to have been brought in on compost mulch and looking strangely familiar.  So I left them in place and tried to remember exactly what had been planted there the previous year.  The answer was Cuphea ignea or the Cigar Flower, so named for obvious reasons.  It is a native of Mexico and the West Indies, not a climate we can replicate in the winter, so we try to keep one going in the greenhouse (a struggle) and take cuttings in the spring.   This is yet another example that gardeners are often surplus to requirements.  Just don’t tell the Bosses!

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

9 responses to “Cuphea ignea – Cigar Flower

  1. Amazing..and I only realised that Cliffe is where you work the other day. Wow what a stunning place…I envy you your job.

  2. Helen Johnstone

    Another interesting plant, I love your blog

  3. Sometimes I surprise myself and actually find a label near a mystery plant!

  4. diversifolius

    I like all Cupheas, especially since we’ve seen them wild in Mexico – lots of interesting species. I have a cute bat-face Cuphea (C. llavea) every year somewhere in the garden.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s