Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, commonly called Texas firecracker, is an upright, deciduous shrub reaching up to 5' tall and 4' wide with an informal, spreading appearance. It is native to extreme south-central Texas and adjacent northern Mexico, growing on rocky, calcareous slopes and floodplains. The slender, brittle stems have attractive, peeling bark. The leaves are small, nearly clasping, and lanceolate in shape. Bright red-orange tubular flowers (1-1.5" long) appear abundant during bloom periods, which most often fall from spring to late summer after rain. Extremely attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Deer tend to avoid this plant.
Best grown in medium to dry, well-draining soils in full sun but is adaptable to many soil types, including poor, rocky, and heavy clay soils. Tolerant of drought and takes well to pot culture. It may be required occasional but regular summer irrigation in desert landscapes—Hardy from Zones 7 to 10. In the colder parts of its range, this plant will die back to the roots and reemerge in the spring with new top growth. Pruning is not required but can be pruned for shape in the fall and cut back more severely every few years.
Butterfly Host Plant: Banded Peacock (Anartia Fatima); Tulcis Crecent (Anthanassa tulcis); Rosita Patch (Chlosyne rosita)
Light: Full sun, Part Shade, Dappled Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Origin: Texas & Mexico