02 Oct

Tropical Flowering Shrub: Odontonema strictum, Firespike

The plant in picture is Odontonema strictum which is a versatile and useful shrub for tropical climates. Known by the names of Firespike, Cardinal Guard and Scarlet Flame, Odontonema strictum is grown for its fresh green foliage and spikes of showy flowers. It is a good plant to grow in borders, landscapes or in empty spaces where it can spread quickly to fill in the space with a plenty of foliage and branches. The branches that grow from the underground can grow as high as 6 feet. However, it can be easily pruned to keep in proper shape and under control.

Odontonema strictum

Odontonema strictum/ Image by Lady_Elixir (flickr)

Odontonema strictum originally belongs to the Central America but grown widely in many tropical regions of the world for its crimson flowers. The flowers usually appear in summer and attract a lot of butterflies and hummingbirds. In fact, it is any easy way to invite hummingbirds to the garden.

Odontonema strictum is quite easy to grow as it only requires a good but well-drained soil. Young plants thrive well with regular watering but once established it can easily withstand spells of drought. It also does well under all light conditions but prefers filtered and bright sunlight.

Odontonema strictum is propagated from seeds or softwood cuttings.

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