Cuphea – Flamenco Red

Many gardeners have learned the value of Cuphea for summer long flowers. We value them not only for the small, attractive flowers, but also for the hummingbirds, butterflies, and nectar-feeding insects that swarm around them. Aka Bat-Face Cuphea, St. Peter’s Plant, Tiny Mice, Bunny Ears, Cuphea llavea.
Cuphea is a family of plants containing about 115 species according to the GRIN website. Members of the Lythraceae or loosestrife family, these woody subshrubs hail mostly from tropical regions of Central America and Mexico; however, some are native to North America.

As a group, they freeze to the ground in winter in my Zone 9 garden. Every spring most of them return reliably. Most species begin blooming almost as soon as they emerge from their winter dormancy. Others, however, initiate flowers during the short days of autumn.


Family: Lythraceae (ly-THRAY-see-ee) (Info)

Genus: Cuphea (KYOO-fee-uh) (Info)

Species: llavea (LAH-vay-uh) (Info)

Cultivar: Flamenco Red


Synonym:Cuphea barbigera

Synonym:Parsonia llavea




Tropicals and Tender Perennials



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)



USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)


Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Unknown – Tell us


Bloom Color:


Dark Purple/Black


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly





Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater


Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)


Patent Information:



Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings


Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


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