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Cuphea llavea

Cuphea llavea
bat-face flower
Cuphea llavea
Somewhat larger flowers on 'Flamenco Samba'

Common name bat-face flower
Family lythraceae
Life cycle tender perennial
Flowers dark purple/red
Size 12-18"
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes heat and drought tolerant

Evergreen perennial native to Mexico, with slender leaves and curious tubular flowers with ear-like red petals. Plants can get leggy – pinch back to maintain bushy habit. Usually grown as an annual – we'll see how overwintered plants fare in our Houston garden. Plants may be propagated from seed or cuttings.
The 'Flamenco Samba' variety, shown at right, has somewhat larger flowers, which don't so much resemble bat faces any more because of the presence of lower petals. The whole plant is more compact than the species.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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