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Flame Acanthus

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Other common name(s):

Wright's Desert Honeysuckle

Family:

Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts, Edwards Plateau, Southern Texas Plains, Texas Blackland Prairies
Low Mountains and Bajadas
Balcones Canyonlands
Northern Nueces Alluvial Plains, Rio Grande Floodplain and Terraces, Semiarid Edwards Bajada, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub
Northern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Shrub

Height

3
to
5
ft.

Spread

3
to
4
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Very Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Red, Orange

Bloom Season

Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Hummingbirds

Maintenance

Can be used as a low perennial hedge. Reseeds profusely so remove any seedlings that are not wanted. Cut back 1/2 in early winter (before spring growth) if compact shape is desired. New spring growth will sprout on old stems and from the plant base. Successful as potted plant. Propagation: Seeds, Softwood cuttings..

Comments

Blooms June-November. Medium size shrub. Blooms throughout the Summer. Orange, tubular flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Rain triggers blooms. Though found in the wild mostly in rocky, calcareous soils, it is adaptable both to the heavy soils of Houston. It is drought-tolerant and can survive low temperatures as far north as Dallas, though only the roots will survive the winters there and the whole plant will reemerge each year like a perennial from the ground. Larval Host: Janais Patch, Texan Crescentspot.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Anisacanthus wrightii, Drejera wrightii

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ANQUW. 3) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=24185&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 4) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 231. 5) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=182373#null, 7) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.