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Light: Full sun, Part Shade, Dappled Shade
Zone: 7, 8, 9, 10
Origin: Texas & Mexico
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, commonly known as Texas firecracker, is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It has a spreading appearance and is native to extreme south-central Texas and adjacent northern Mexico, where it grows on rocky, calcareous slopes and floodplains.
The plant has slender, brittle stems with attractive, peeling bark and small, lanceolate-shaped leaves that are nearly clasping. During bloom, it produces bright red-orange tubular flowers that are 1-1.5 inches long. The flowers appear in abundance from spring to late summer after rain and are highly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Deer tend to avoid this plant.
Texas firecracker is best grown in medium to dry, well-draining soils in full sun. However, it is adaptable to many soil types, including poor, rocky, and heavy clay. It is tolerant of drought and takes well to pot culture. In desert landscapes, it may require occasional but regular summer irrigation. The plant is hardy from Zones 7 to 10. In colder parts of its range, the plant will die back to the roots and reemerge in the spring with new top growth.
Pruning is not required, but the plant can be pruned for shape in the fall and cut back more severely every few years.
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