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Cuphea hyssopifolia

Cuphea hyssopifolia
Mexican heather

Common name Mexican heather
Family lythraceae
Life cycle tender perennial (Z9-11)
Flowers lavender (spring-fall)
Size 12-24"
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes well drained soil
From seed self-seeds in our garden

Glossy fine-textured foliage serves as a backdrop to a profusion of purple flowers that just keep on coming all season long. Even in Houston it is sold as an annual, so it is considered to be quite tender – but it all three of our plants returned from the roots after both recent winters with deep freezes, so they should be given more credit. On the warm end of the year, it handles hot summers with aplomb, and can also take a bit of drought, although regular moisture is best. Plants started from seed early in the year will flower by spring, and it is also possible to propagate by tip cuttings.

Cuphea hyssopifolia

By late November, the three plants in our cluster have completely grown together, and are still in full bloom, as shown in the picture here. What you can't see is that the plants were literally crawling with honeybees: dozens were scouring the plant for nectar on this sunny afternoon. I don't know where the bees live, but some good honey is flowing somewhere!

Mexican heather
Returning from the base in mid-March after the top growth was killed in a January freeze. These early leaves are quite a bit larger than the mature foliage.

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: waterfall pondside, foundation border, rock garden zone, right-fence nursery area

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Last modified: June 17, 2021
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