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Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010 at 3:42 PM

Patrick  (Login Celtguy)
Bird Lover

Ballistic is performing very well. Those shown in this pic are cuttings in an 8-pack. I really need to up-pot them, as well as a few growing in 4" pots.

[linked image]

Ward, my David Verity cuttings kicked in and look great, but don't have many blooms yet. Knowing how things often perform here, they will probably be at their impressive best right at the end of the season! So far, the blooms are also small...not quite as big as those on my seed-grown Igneas, which are blooming heavily.


Patrick
USDA Zone 8b
Heat Zone 3
Sunset Zone 5
SeaTac, WA...one cool place
[linked image]

 
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Ward
(Login WardDa)
Bird Lover

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 4:13 PM 

It could be that David Verity is one of those hot weather plants. I have ignea too and it would take 10 ignea flowers to make a single David Verity flower. You are getting toward your "hot" period aren't you - the dog days of late summer and fall? That is a nice purple on the Ballistic. I have never seen that available here, which might not mean much since I don't visit garden centers much anymore - on the wagon.

 
 
Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Bird Lover

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 5:27 PM 

Patrick,

I found some splendid Cuphea 'Ballistic' at a local garden center. Since I didn't really need any more plants, I vowed not to make any impulse purchases - but then, I changed my mind! It was just too beautiful to leave behind.

The entire yard is getting a make-over this year and I am not nearly done, so I opted to put the plant in a large terra cotta container, which it quickly grew to fill. I can't keep it watered enough! Some of those Cupheas really soak up the water. Cuttings root very easily.

Hummer visitation has been sparse and I have not spent much time sitting outside with the godawful heat we've been having so I cannot say if the plant has gotten any usage. There is some nectar though I have not tested it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
[linked image]

 
 

Michelle
(Login voodoobrew)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 8:00 PM 

I have never seen this cuphea for sale, not even on the internet! Any idea where to get it? It does look somewhat like this one from Annie's, which my Anna's fight over:

http://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/plant_display.asp?prodid=3282&account=none

That one roots VERY easily in water, so I have made many more plants from the broken branches (it doesn't hold up well in strong winds).

I will be receiving this cuphea soon; the "ears" look large:
http://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/plant_display.asp?prodid=1778&account=none

I've got a lot of cuphea blooms right now, so it might explain all the hummer wars in my yard. Strybing Arboretum (S.F.) has an amazing cuphea hillside, which was very popular with the Rufous when I was there recently. The Anna's were more concentrated in the CA section... presumably because the Keckiella cordifolia was exploding there.

Bay Area, CA

 
 
Priya
(Login Priya_S)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 9:29 PM 

Michelle,
Avant Gardens had this cuphea in spring, though it is out of stock now. I ordered from them once and the plants were small but healthy.

http://www.avantgardensne.com/catalog/product.cgi/0/4864/P1/default/N/0

Priya
Zone 7, Maryland

 
 

Michelle
(Login voodoobrew)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 10:00 PM 

Thanks, Priya. Guess I will just have to wait until next spring. wink.gif

 
 
Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Bird Lover

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 10:19 PM 

Michelle, I have Cuphea 'Ballistic' growing right next to Cuphea 'Starbrite', which appears to be identical to Cuphea 'Starfire Pink'. Both are doing very well but they are different plants. The flowers of 'Starbrite' are much smaller than those of 'Ballistic' and the latter has much more purple coloring.

I got Cuphea nelsonii 'Red Wine' from Annies's Annuals and it appears to be identical to Cuphea sp 'Wine Red'. That plant has struggled since summer weather set in and it is now at death's door. Your climate may be more kindly to it. I got 1 flower from it last winter. Let us know how your hummers like it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
[linked image]

 
 

Patrick
(Login Celtguy)
Bird Lover

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 9 2010, 10:37 PM 

Michelle, I first heard about Ballistic here on the forum. I contacted several local nurseries in search of it...finally, one of the more distant ones (naturally!) got some in and notified me. Thru the spring, I found others at various nurseries & now have not only the ingeas I grew from seed and the David Verity that Ward kindly shared, but also the Ballistic, Orange Bats, Flamenco Cha Cha, Flamenco Rhumba (their spelling), Little Mice (same as Batface I think)and Totally Tempted. Totally tempted blooms well, but I can't say the hummers have found any nectar in it. The 2 Flamenco cultivars and the Little Mice haven't been prolific and have had few blooms. The rest get attention from the hummers - so far, the igneas most of all, but Ballistic seems to really be catching on.

Nancy, I'm glad to hear yours has grown so well...I hope it's also been a heavy bloomer for you.

Ward, we should be running warm & dry right now...our annual drought period. But we had a fair amount of rain on Saturday for our SeaFair Weekend - hydroplane races and the Blue Angels precision flying demonstrations. The planes had to perform their low altitude maneuvers on Saturday. We're having a hard time getting our temps above the 60's & on cloudy days (like today) I have to run the furnace in the morning to take the chill off...can you imagine that in August?! The tomatoes and brugmansias have all requested blankets...and my tan is fading. I can work on my tan at about 65 degrees, providing the sun is shining.




Patrick
USDA Zone 8b
Heat Zone 3
Sunset Zone 5
SeaTac, WA...one cool place
[linked image]

 
 
Ward
(Login WardDa)
Bird Lover

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 10 2010, 10:29 AM 

It has taken three years but I am finally beginning to understand what Cuphea schumannii needs to grow well. What seems to work best for me is plenty of space, sun and water. Just the other day I noticed a seedling growing out of a tomato cage. It is only about a foot high and not close to blooming and if the leaves are an indication it is the pure species and not a hybrid. Next year the garden may go Ballistic since it is hard to have too much purple.

 
 

Bud
(Login BudOhio)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Cuphea 'Ballistic'

August 10 2010, 7:56 PM 

'Ballistic' is one that I was hoping to find again, locally, this year...but, no luck and, of course, I took no cuttings. My experience with it last summer was that it saw little activity through most of July and August, then really seemed to hit its stride in September / October. I don't know if the nectar content increased with maturity or something else, but it was very popular with the late migrants.

These shots are all from early October, 2009.

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

Bud
Southwest Ohio
USDA Plant Zone 6a
[linked image]
Camera: Pentax K20D
Lens: Pentax DA*300 f/4, Sigma 180 f/3.5 Macro
There's 1 or 2 more hummingbird / butterfly pics located here... [linked image]
http://www.pbase.com/budohio

 
 
 
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