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Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011 at 9:29 AM

Roger Hammer  (Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

We often grow different hummingbird-attracting plants here in southern Florida than are grown elsewhere. Where I live in Homestead, Florida, hummingbirds are only here through the fall, winter, and spring, so we need to cultivate plants that flower through those seasons. I've been at this for three decades now and here are the absolute best plants to grow down here (many will be familiar to northern gardeners as well):

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Red Firespike (Odontonema cuspidatum)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Mangrove Mallow (Pavonia bahamensis)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia x blakeana)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Chinese Hat Plant (Holmskioldea sanguinia)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Forsythia Sage (Salvia madrensis)

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Tropical Sage (Salvia coccinea)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Blue Anise Sage (Salvia guaranitica)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Sanchezia (Sanchezia speciosa)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Pink Porterweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis)

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Necklace Pod (Sophora tomentosa)

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Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra)

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Shrimp-Plant (Justicia brandegeana)

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Justicia fulvicoma

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Turk's Cap (Malvaviscus penduliflorus)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Mexican Firecracker (Russelia sarmentosa)

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Firebush (Hamelia patens)

 
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Roger Hammer
(Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 9:33 AM 

By the way, these are all photographs that I've taken for a book I'm working on, entitled Hummingbird & Butterfly Attracting Plants for Tropical Florida. I've also authored Everglades Wildflowers, Florida Keys Wildflowers, Exploring Everglades National Park, and...just recently...Florida Icons - 50 Classic Views of the Sunshine State.


    
This message has been edited by Gladesman on Dec 5, 2011 9:35 AM


 
 

BobKy
(Premier Login bob2aa)
Forum Owner

Hi Roger

December 5 2011, 3:00 PM 

Beautiful flowers!!




Cheers,Bob
KLEX - USA

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Roger Hammer
(no login)

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 3:58 PM 

Thanks Bob. Not to dismiss the red, tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds in our area, that green hibiscus-like flower, called the Mangrove Mallow or Bahama Swampbush (Pavonia bahamensis) is not only a hummingbird magnet that they fight over, I've watched Wilson's warblers hovering in front of the flowers sipping nectar. Orioles visit the flowers, too. Unfortunately, I doubt it would survive outside of Zone 10, but maybe the warmer sections of Zone 9.

Here's a ruby-throat around my red firespike (Odontonema cuspidatum). That's a new name for Odontonema strictum, if anyone is keeping up with name changes.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

Also, here are two morning-glory vines on my fence that attract hummers:

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Ipomoea horsfalliae

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]
Ipomoea microdactyla

Both are rarely seen in cultivation. The second one is a native of Florida and is a state-listed endangered species. It's called Man-in-the-Ground, which relates to the large underground tuber, similar to the one produced by its relative, the sweet potato.

 
 

BobKy
(Premier Login bob2aa)
Forum Owner

Hi Roger

December 5 2011, 4:34 PM 

Here is help with staying logged-in to Network54:

http://tinyurl.com/72bqrng


Cheers,Bob
KLEX - USA

Lexington.gif

 
 
Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 4:55 PM 

Roger,

Is the scientific name change of Red Firespike for reasons of priority or because of a split from the pink [or purple] Firespike? Can you direct me to a citation for this change? I just finished a manuscript and want to make sure all the nomenclature is up to date before it goes to press.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
http://www.casacolibri.net/
[linked image]

 
 

Roger Hammer
(Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 5:38 PM 

Thanks for the insight Bob. Can you or someone else delete one of those duplicate posts. When it didn't appear the first time I retyped it, then I realized I wasn't logged in. DUH!

Nancy, I'll get a citation for that nomenclature change. Because that species has escaped cultivation in Florida, it's in the Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida by Dr. Richard Wunderlin. An updated volume just came out this year and the plant in question is listed as Odontonema cuspidatum (Nees) Kuntze. I believe it's also listed as O. cuspidatum in the Flora of North America. The violet-flowered species is Odontonema callistachyum. When the red-flowered species was being called Odontonema strictum, there was a salmon-colored species (which I grow also) that was referred to as O. cuspidatum. I guess someone did some taxonomic work on them and determined that what was being called O. strictum was not taxonomically different than O. cuspidatum, and the latter was probably named first, so that name holds precedent.

I'll email Dick Wunderlin (he's a friend of mine) and find out who the authority is that he's citing, but all of the most recent works I've seen use the name O. cuspidatum. Stay tuned!

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Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 6:21 PM 

Roger,

I was not referring to Odontonema callistachyum, which I also grow. The plant I know as pink [or purple] Firespike is generally much like the red Firespike, but the flowers are shaped somewhat differently. Let me see if I can find a link to some images.

OK, I found one that looks like mine http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/59362/. It is the one in the circular 'frame'.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
http://www.casacolibri.net/
[linked image]


    
This message has been edited by NLN on Dec 5, 2011 6:27 PM


 
 

Roger Hammer
(Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 7:36 PM 

They have the one in the circular frame labeled Odontonema callistachyum. However, I don't put much credence in what I find on that Dave's Garden forum. Misidentifications of plants are rampant on that site and it's a nightmare to try to navigate around on their forum, plus you have to be a paid member to discuss anything. Too bad you can't see the leaves. If it is something other than O. callistachyum, it's probably merely a color form of O. cuspidatum, which would have no botanical standing other than nursery growers attaching a cultivar name to it.

One note of interest is that Mabberly's Plant Book (a dictionary of vascular plants) sinks the entire genus Odontonema in with Justicia. There's been a lot of recent changes in families, too. Many members of the Verbenaceae (Verbena Family) are now relegated to the Lamiaceae (Mint Family)...most notably Callicarpa, Clerodendrum, and Vitex. Also, the spelling of Buddleia is now Buddleja. It's a jungle out there.

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Joan
(Login janselmo)
Hummingbird lover 2007

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 7:59 PM 

Roger, I know I'm probably offering no new information, but have you tried Bauhinia corymbosa? It's a lovely vining Bauhina I purchased after I lost my Orchid tree in Katrina. It's very fast growing and will leaf out after a freeze here in Zone 9 so it would probably be evergreen where you are. It's blooming now and seems to bloom off and on year round. Hummers like it as well as the Orange-crowned warblers presently in my yard.













Joan Garvey - Metairie, LA Zone 9

 
 

Steve Backes
(Login Rowdy13)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 5 2011, 9:26 PM 

The two plants that Nancy is referring to are very different. Odontonema callistachyum has more detail to the leaves and the flowers are different from the standard red ones (what we've been calling O. strictum). It's also later to begin blooming and blooms later into the spring. Here's a photo showing the leaves and flowers.


[linked image]

Here's a photo of the pink [or purple] O. strictum. The flowers and leavers are the same as the red O. strictum. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo showing the leaves.

[linked image]

Steve



Steve Backes
Valrico, FL (east of Tampa)
http://mysite.verizon.net/resu64md/yardhummers/
http://floridahummingbirds.net/
http://floridahummingbirds.proboards.com/
Hummingbirds in Florida on Faceboohttp://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=106975792655351

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This message has been edited by Rowdy13 on Dec 5, 2011 10:47 PM


 
 

Roger Hammer
(Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 6 2011, 7:08 AM 

Thanks for the recommendation Joan. I was given a plant labeled Bauhinia corymbosa several years ago but, when a Bauhinia expert friend of mine looked at it, he correctly identified it as Bauhinia yunnanensis. True Bauhinia corymbosa should have large masses (corymbs) of flowers. The problem down here in southern Florida is that most all of the Bauhinia species become exceptionally weedy. I once had specimens of Bauhina tomentosa, B. monandra, B. acuminata, and B. divaricata. All produced so many seedlings around my property that I yanked every one of them out of the ground with my truck and hauled them to the dump. Now I only have a rare species called Bauhinia walteri, which has leaves totally unlike most other members of the genus, and narrow, tubular, pinkish flowers. I also have the petite, bonsai-like shrub called B. grandidieri. The true Hong Kong orchid tree is superior for hummers because it flowers at the perfect time for them down here (fall through spring), and it's a sterile hybrid. By the way, I also hauled my B. yunnanensis to the dump after it became too weedy and started clambering all over everything.

Steve, I'll look into that purplish-violet species of Odontonema. Is the first picture you posted the plant in question? By the way, down here in Zone 10b, Odontonema cuspidatum flowers almost continuously throughout the year, with a big flush of flowers in the fall and winter. My O. callistachyum has a very distinct flowering period, which generally is at the tail end of hummingbird spring migration.

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Steve Backes
(Login Rowdy13)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 6 2011, 7:50 AM 

The first picture is the one that I believe to be O. callistachyum. It hasn't bloomed yet this year. It should within the next month. The red ones begin blooming in August and the pink/purple ones began blooming in November. Unfortunately, freezes have been the reason they've all stopped blooming in the past few years.

Steve Backes
Valrico, FL (east of Tampa)
http://mysite.verizon.net/resu64md/yardhummers/
http://floridahummingbirds.net/
http://floridahummingbirds.proboards.com/
Hummingbirds in Florida on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=106975792655351

Valrico.gif


 
 

Roger Hammer
(Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 6 2011, 8:11 AM 

It appears that the only purple-violet-lavender Odontonema species out there are O. callistachyum and the lavender form of O. cuspidatum. There's a nursery called Black Olive East that sells what they're calling Odontonema purpurea, but that doesn't seem to be a valid taxon. Quite a few nurseries just make up names so I don't have much faith when I'm looking on the Internet. I looked in Google Images for Odontonema and there was everything from ants to orange trees and even an image of Hillary Clinton!

There's a very cool species called Odontonema schomburkianum with long pendent spikes of red flowers that I'll have to look for. Another name you see a lot is O. tubaeforme, but that's a synonym of O. cuspidatum.

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Steve Backes
(Login Rowdy13)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 6 2011, 8:33 AM 

My research indicates that O. strictum and O. tubaeforme are synonyms for O. cuspidatum. Here a few photos I took this morning to emphasize the leaves.

Red O. cuspidatum
[linked image]

Lavender O. cuspidatum
[linked image]


Lavender O. cuspidatum with O. callistachyum growing to the left and behind (leaves only).
[linked image]



Steve Backes
Valrico, FL (east of Tampa)
http://mysite.verizon.net/resu64md/yardhummers/
http://floridahummingbirds.net/
http://floridahummingbirds.proboards.com/
Hummingbirds in Florida on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=106975792655351

Valrico.gif



    
This message has been edited by Rowdy13 on Dec 6, 2011 8:42 AM


 
 

Steve Backes
(Login Rowdy13)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 6 2011, 9:19 AM 

Roger, in rereading your post from Dec 5 7:36 pm, I realize that you did acknowledge that the "purple" strictum (identified as a O. callistachyum) is "probably merely a color form of O. cuspidatum". The Dave's Garden photo is misidentified. This is what I was emphasizing with my photos.

Steve Backes
Valrico, FL (east of Tampa)
http://mysite.verizon.net/resu64md/yardhummers/
http://floridahummingbirds.net/
http://floridahummingbirds.proboards.com/
Hummingbirds in Florida on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=106975792655351

Valrico.gif


 
 
CA_Scott
(Login CA_Scott)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Potential for Zone 9?

December 9 2011, 6:57 PM 

Great post, Roger...excellent photos!

Do you have any sense as to whether or not any of these would be successful in Zone 9? I've just started building my hummingbird garden and am looking for a few more plants.



Scott
CA
USDA Hardiness Zone 9
AHS Heat Zone 2

[linked image]

 
 

Roger Hammer
(Login Gladesman)
Hummingbird lover 2011

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 12 2011, 8:30 AM 

Scott, I think all would be worth trying in Zone 9. I do know that Holmskioldia sanguinea and Malvaviscus penduliflorus will handle Zone 9 here in Florida, along with Sophora tomentosa. Good luck!

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Nancy Newfield
(Login NLN)
Hummingbird Member 2005

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 12 2011, 8:44 AM 

Scott,

New Orleans, where I live, is in zone 9 and we grow most of those plants very successfully. Baton Rouge, 75 miles west northwest, is in zone 8b and those do alright there as well, but often they are hit by frost earlier than we are.

From January 1996 until January 2010, we did not experience a significant frost and we had many lush tropicals. Then, in January 2010, we experienced a hard freeze. A few tropicals were killed, but most were just severely knocked back. My small yard is filled with flowers right now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nancy L Newfield
Casa Colibrí
Metairie, Louisiana USA
USDA Zone 9
http://www.casacolibri.net/
[linked image]

 
 

Steve Backes
(Login Rowdy13)
Hummingbirder 2008

Re: Best Zone 10 Hummer Plants

December 12 2011, 8:53 AM 

I'm growing Chinese Hat and Turks Cap in zone 9a east of Tampa. They froze to the ground the past couple of years, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees last year and 13 consecutive nights below freezing the year before, but most plants came back from the base. For the most part, they were at least semi-protected either by a mature oak or being close to the house.

Steve Backes
Valrico, FL (east of Tampa)
http://mysite.verizon.net/resu64md/yardhummers/
http://floridahummingbirds.net/
http://floridahummingbirds.proboards.com/
Hummingbirds in Florida on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=106975792655351

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This message has been edited by Rowdy13 on Dec 12, 2011 8:54 AM


 
 
 
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