Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii
Flame acanthus, a native perennial, is also called hummingbird bush, Wright’s desert honeysuckle, Wright acanthus, Mexican flame, and Wright’s Mexican flame.
This show-stopping deciduous shrub is native from west and south-central Texas, down through northern Mexico.
The native habitat of flame acanthus is rocky and calcareous, but it can adapt to even heavy clay soils. It’s extremely drought tolerant and can survive most Texas winters, but in colder areas, it will freeze to the ground each winter, so you’ll need to shear it back to the roots in late spring, just as new growth starts to re-emerge from the roots.
Even when it doesn’t freeze back, healthy pruning each year encourages it to fill in more and be a more attractive specimen. Here it’s growing with native four-nerve daisy and mealy blue sage.
Getting four to six feet tall and about as wide, one flame acanthus can plant can fill up a significant area of your garden. Be sure to plant in full sun.
The brilliant, bright red-orange tubular blooms arrive in late summer and last through fall, a hummingbird magnet that also attract butterflies.