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Firespike, Cardinal Guard, Scarlet Flame
Scientific Name: Odontonema strictum (Nees) O. Kuntze
Synonym:
Family: Acanthaceae
Firespike, Cardinal Guard, Scarlet Flame (Odontonema  strictum) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 17-28
USDA: 8-11

Frost Tolerance: Killed to the ground by frost, generally grows back in the spring

Heat Tolerance: Shade during the summer in Phoenix

Sun Exposure: Light shade to shade

Origin: Central America

Growth Habits: Small to medium shrub, up to 6 feet tall and wide (1.8 m); opposite, shiny leaves, 4 to 6 inches long (10-15 cm) with wavy margins

Watering Needs: Moist, rich, well drained soil

Propagation: Softwood cuttings (easy)


Cultural Practices:
Cut back in the spring to encourage branching and the production of new shoots.

Blooming Habits:
The Firespike blooms in summer and fall, even in the shade. The flowers come in crimson red waxy spikes. Each flower is about one inch long (2.5 cm). It is a good hummingbird plant.


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