Cuphea ignea

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Cuphea ignea

Secure  (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Cuphea
C. ignea
Binomial name
Cuphea ignea

Cuphea ignea, the cigar plant, cigar flower,[2] firecracker plant, or Mexican cigar, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Cuphea of the family Lythraceae. It is a tropical, densely branched evergreen subshrub.[3] This species, native to Mexico and the West Indies, produces small, tubular, bright red to orange flowers.[4] Each flower is tipped with a thin white rim and two small purple-black petals. The flowers, which are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies,[5] resemble lit cigars, hence the name ignea, which is Latin for "fiery".[6] The genus name Cuphea comes from the Greek word kyphos which means curved or humped; this is thought to refer to the shape of the seeds.[4] The leaves are small, elliptical and of a bright green colour. It grows to about 60 cm (24 in).[7]


In temperate climates Cuphea ignea requires a warm, sheltered spot, as it does not tolerate frost. Alternately it may be grown under glass or indoors as a houseplant. In the UK this plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit[8] (confirmed 2017).[9]

In the US, Cuphea ignea is winter hardy to USDA zones 10–12.[4] It is somewhat drought tolerant, but prefers well-watered, well-drained soils.[5]


  1. ^ "NatureServe Explorer". Retrieved 2021-04-14.
  2. ^ "ITIS Standard Report Page: Cuphea ignea". Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  3. ^ "Cuphea ignea". Floridata. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  4. ^ a b c "Cuphea ignea". Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder. Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Cuphea ignea (Firecracker Plant, Mexican Cigar Plant) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 2021-02-20.
  6. ^ "Cuphea ignea". Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  7. ^ "Cuphea ignea {Lythraceae} Cigar Flower, Cigarette Plant". Archived from the original on 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  8. ^ "Cuphea ignea". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  9. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 26. Retrieved 24 January 2018.

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