Plant DetailShow Menu

Red Cuphea Cuphea llavea

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
KOO-fee-ah lah-VEE-ah
Description

Bat-faced Cuphea or Red Cuphea is a perennial sub-shrub native to Mexico in the loosestrife family. In NC it can be grown as an annual, container plant or house plant. The name comes from the flower which has a one inch long, hairy purple calyx with two upward facing red petals, resembling a bat face. It begins blooming in late spring and continues until frost, producing clusters of numerous flowers in the leaf axils. 

In its native habitat, it may grow 2-3 feet tall but as an annual, it will most likely reach 12-18 inches tall with a similar spread. Plant in well-drained moist soils in full sun in the border, in pots or along pathways. Cut back to prevent legginess. Attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Many cultivars are available.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Diablo’
    Hot red flowers
  • 'Torpedo’
    Larger flowers
‘Diablo’, 'Torpedo’
Tags:
#hummingbirds#annuals#red flowers#hanging baskets#tropical perennials#border planting#patio planting#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#tropical#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Diablo’
    Hot red flowers
  • 'Torpedo’
    Larger flowers
‘Diablo’, 'Torpedo’
Tags:
#hummingbirds#annuals#red flowers#hanging baskets#tropical perennials#border planting#patio planting#butterfly friendly#partial shade tolerant#tropical#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cuphea
    Species:
    llavea
    Family:
    Lythraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The 1-inch long dark purple hairy calyx has 2 upward facing red petals and resembles a bat face. Flowers appear in the axils of leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Up to 3 inch long ovate thick dark green hairy leaves with pointed apex.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Reddish green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators