Calusa Firebush - Cherrylake

Calusa Firebush

Hamelia patens

The Calusa stands out for its distinctive attributes, including striking red-orange blooms and a denser growth pattern. Its leaves boast a deeper shade of red than ordinary Firebush plants and exhibit greater resistance to fungal infections. Calusa Firebush blooms persistently throughout the year, maintaining a consistently uniform appearance unlike other Firebush varieties.

Thriving in warm, tropical climates, Calusa Firebush prefers well-drained soil and thrives in full sun to partial shade. While it can adapt to various soil types, it performs best in fertile, loamy soil. What sets Calusa Firebush apart is its relatively fast growth rate, often achieving several feet of growth per year under favorable conditions. This rapid growth, coupled with its attractive flowers, makes it a popular choice for tropical to subtropical landscapes, where it is often used as a hedge, screen, or specimen plant.

The Calusa Firebush should only be cut back in spring or summer as needed to keep shape or to remove dead branches from frost burn back. It will continuously bloom without being cut back. The vibrant flowers not only enhance the aesthetic of outdoor spaces but also attract pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies, making it a favorite among wildlife enthusiasts. Overall, this tropical shrub’s combination of striking appearance, fast growth, and ecological benefits makes it a valuable addition to gardens and landscapes in warm climates.

Calusa Firebush on the farm

Ornamental Characteristics:

Native Origin:

Common Names:
Firebush, Scarlet Bush

Hardy Range: 8B – 11
Mature Height: 3 – 10’
Mature Spread: 3 – 6’
Growth Rate: fast
Form: rounded
Persistence: evergreen

Ornamental Characteristics:
The Firebush plant boasts clusters of vibrant, thinly tubular flowers in shades of bright orange to red. Its leaves exhibit an elliptical to ovate shape, featuring smooth edges and pointed tips. The petioles and veins of the leaves often take on a reddish hue. As the plant matures, it develops small green berries that are grouped in clusters, transitioning from green to red and eventually turning purplish-black.

Soil: dry to moist
Salt: moderate
Exposure: full sun to partial shade

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Calusa Firebush in the landscape
Calusa Firebush with a swallowtail butterfly
Calusa Firebush leaves