Flame Acanthus

Anisicanthus quadrifidus, var. wrightii

flame acanthus flowers

From midsummer through frost, this drought-tough perennial shrub is covered with long, slender red or reddish-orange blooms that are hummingbird magnets. Flame acanthus loves the heat and is extremely drought tolerant, but will produce more flowers if watered a little more during the hottest, driest times. It generally stays under 3′ tall and wide, but can grow up to 5′ or taller and 4′ wide.

This small shrubby plant is root hardy to Zone 7, but dies back in winter, so prune it back severely in February. New growth will emerge as spring temperatures warm up.

It grows naturally on rocky banks and floodplains and prefers well-drained soils, but also does well in heavier soil types in sunny to partly shady areas of the home landscape. And although no plant can ever truly be listed as deer-proof, this plant is extremely deer resistant.