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Common Name:

Flame Acanthus

Scientific Name:

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Family Name:

Acanthaceae

Description:

Flame Acanthus is a small deciduous shrub (z. 8), subshrub (z. 7b), or herbaceous perennial (z.7a-6b)native to Texas that is suitable for use in informal gardens, perennial borders, xeriscapes, and for naturalizing or in transition areas. Tough enough for parking lot islands. The primary attribute is the season-long bloom of orange, red, or yellow flowers peaking in late summer and early fall. The bone white winter stems are mildly interesting. Tends to be rather invasive; at best open and airy, at worst ratty.

Plant Habit or Use:

Perennial, shrub, small shrub, medium shrub

Exposure:

sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Firy orange to red, some yellows

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer, fall

Fruit Characteristics:

Dehiscent capsule, not ornamental

Height:

3 ft to 4 ft

Width:

3 ft to 4 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Very durable and adaptable shrub. Provide decent drainage and remove unwanted seedlings. For best appearance prune back to within 3 inch to 6 inch of the ground in late winter.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.