More Information About Cuphea
Cuphea is a genus of herbaceous or small woody plants that is related to lagerostroemia (crape myrtle) and lythrum (loosestrife). Like its botanical cousins, cuphea produces clusters of colorful flowers over a long period of time in the summer. Cuphea is a large genus , with around 260 species of mostly tropical members that are native from the Southeast US, through Mexico and Guatemala and into South America.
Also known as Mexican heather or cigar plant, cuphea is popular in gardens both as an annual and perennial plant, but some selections, like the ones we offer, are somewhat winter hardy. Some Mexican heather selections have bright red, orange, and yellow tubular flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies absolutely love. In addition to its ornamental characteristics, Cuphea is becoming a valuable agricultural crop for honey production, fallow soil improvement or crop rotation, and as a temperate oilseed replacement for imported palm and coconut oil.
Mexican heather plants prefer warm climates and full to part sun. Well-drained soil is a a must, especially in winter to prevent root rot. For those of you in the North, bring your Mexican heather indoors for the winter and it will make a fine houseplant.