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Crossandra infundibuliformis

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kros-AN-druh in-fun-dih-bew-LEE-for-mis
Description

In tropical conditions, this plant can be grown outdoors, and it remains evergreen, while in temperate regions it is mostly cultivated as a houseplant or an outdoor annual. 

The common name "firecracker flower" refers to the seed pods, which are found after the flower has dried up, and tend to "explode" when near high humidity or rainfall.  They need bright indirect light, warm indoor air temperatures, and high humidity to preform well. In order to prevent the seed pods from 'exploding', cut the stems back before the seed form.  This is especially of importance when growing indoors.  

The showy flowers sit atop erect stems and each has five asymmetrical petals, overlapping each other.  This gives the blooms a compact appearance.  Pinching back the flowers after they bloom in order to encourage additional blooms.  

When grown indoors, placing the plant in a tray filled with pebbles and water is encouraged, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the pot.   Be sure to mist on a regular basis in dry climates and in the winter months.  Watering should be done using warm water, as cold water can shock the roots, which may result in the plant dying.  

Propagation can be accomplished through stem cuttings.  It's best to take your cuttings early in the growing season, giving your cutting ample time to take root.  Use seed starter mix and rooting hormone powder with your cutting.  Having a heat mat will give the cutting an edge.  Make sure to mist the soil on a regular basis, as humidity is necessary.  Artificial lighting is also encouraged.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Protect from direct sunlight, but keep in mind that low lighting conditions will put a halt on flowering.  

Cooler temperatures below 55 F can cause the plant to lose its leaves.  

Although it does not have insects issues, mealybugs, whitefly, aphids and mites are occasional visitors.  

Heavy rainfall can damage the flowers.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Florida Sunset'
    Orange flowers
  • 'Lutea'
    Golden flowers. Blooms until the first frost.
  • 'Mona Wallhead'
    salmon-pink flowers, grows to 12-18" tall. Cold temperatures hardy.
  • 'Orange Marmalade'
    Bright orange flowers. May bloom year-round as a houseplant.
  • 'Orange Marmalade'
    Orange Flowers
'Florida Sunset', 'Lutea', 'Mona Wallhead', 'Orange Marmalade', 'Orange Marmalade'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#shade garden#shade annual#orange flowers#salmon flowers#disease resistant#tropical perennials#glossy leaves#tropical evergreen#long bloom time#shade border#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#tropical annual#dry soils intolerant#drought intolerant#frost intolerant#high humidity#butterflies#butterfly#insect resistant#shade perennial#butterfly garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Florida Sunset'
    Orange flowers
  • 'Lutea'
    Golden flowers. Blooms until the first frost.
  • 'Mona Wallhead'
    salmon-pink flowers, grows to 12-18" tall. Cold temperatures hardy.
  • 'Orange Marmalade'
    Bright orange flowers. May bloom year-round as a houseplant.
  • 'Orange Marmalade'
    Orange Flowers
'Florida Sunset', 'Lutea', 'Mona Wallhead', 'Orange Marmalade', 'Orange Marmalade'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#shade garden#shade annual#orange flowers#salmon flowers#disease resistant#tropical perennials#glossy leaves#tropical evergreen#long bloom time#shade border#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#tropical annual#dry soils intolerant#drought intolerant#frost intolerant#high humidity#butterflies#butterfly#insect resistant#shade perennial#butterfly garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crossandra
    Species:
    infundibuliformis
    Family:
    Acanthaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Houseplant
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Bee, dragonflies, and butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Trumpet
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Fan-shaped flowers with 3-5 asymmetrical petals. Typically salmon colored, cultivars range from orange to salmon-orange, apricot, coral, red, yellow and even turquoise.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Glossy dark green foliage with wavy margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Polished
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Heat
    Humidity
    Insect Pests