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Cuphea viscosissima

Cuphea viscosissima
blue waxweed
Cuphea viscosissima

Common name blue waxweed
Family lythraceae
Life cycle annual
Flowers purple (summer-fall)
Size 12-24"
Light sun
From seed Germinates readily at room temperature. Self-seeds in our garden.
detailed seed-starting info below

Herbaceous annual with tubular flowers borne on the ends of purplish stems, offset by broad lance-shaped leaves. All parts of the plant are covered with sticky hairs. The flowers, with the same general tube-with-ears shape as its genus-mate bat-face plant, are favored by hummingbirds and butterflies.
Blue waxweed hails from open woods and fields across a large swath of the eastern United States, and is one of the only members of its genus occurring outside of (sub)tropical regions. It is more of a wildflower than a garden denizen, but we'll see how it does in our garden. Our nursery-bought specimen started blooming in early June, and was still going strong by late September. It will reportedly self-seed in "suitable locations", so I guess our garden is suitable: we had quite a few volunteers emerge by early spring, with some coming into bloom by the middle of May.

blue waxweed
Not the tidiest plant, but I like the splashes of deep magenta
Cuphea viscosissima
Seedlings blooming in mid-May
blue waxweed
Forest of seedlings, early April

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: left fence border

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '19 garden. Baggy 70F (60%G, 5-10d)

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