Odontonema strictum - Firespike
Fire Spike, Odontonema strictum has also gone under the names of Justicia coccinea and Odontonema tubiforme. The big avocado like leaves and the stunning red blooms make Firespike seem very tropical. But it does very well with very little. A Firespike plant lived for years without irrigation in Franceschi Park in Santa Barbara on heavy soils. Odontonema strictum made it through a Winter with minimum temperatures holding at 16 for most of the night in our garden. It did die to the ground but came back famously the next year. The primary bloom season for Odontonema strictum is in the late spring but sporadic blooms can be expected earlier and then for most of the summer and Fall. I grow Firespike in the shade but it can take some sun near the coast.
High resolution photos of Odontonema strictum are part of our garden image collection.