Russelia Equisetiformis –
Common name: Coral bush, Firecracker plant, Coral fountain, Fountain bush
Botanical name: Russelia Equisetiformis
Life cycle habit: Evergreen perennial
Plant type: shrub
Pests and Diseases: Russelia Equisetiformis is occasionally affected by chewing insects, nematodes, and mites.
The name Russelia was given to the genus Scottish naturalist Alexander Russell (1715–1768) by the Dutch scientist Baron Nikolaus von Jacquin (1727-1817).
Firecracker Plant is a weeping shrub that, when in full bloom, looks as if it is raining flowers . coral plant produces hanging clusters of scarlet tubular flowers about 1” long that looks like little firecrackers and hence the name fire cracker plant. This appearance stays almost the whole year. The wiry branches start out erect then fall over to cascade down in lengths as long as 4’. Coral plant is fast growing, easy to cultivate and blooms almost continuously. This plant is a must to have for tropical butterfly gardens as they are great nectar source.
Russelia’s like humus rich well drained soil and needs to fertilize regularly, may be once in 3 months. It can grow well in full sun to partial shade. Regular watering is required and see to it the soil doesn’t dry out.
It can be used as a specimen plant, border, mass planting and as it has the habit of cascading it is a wonderful choice for cascading down a wall or raised bed. Some Nursery men have developed white Russelia’s too.
Propagation of Firecracker Plant is by simple layers or cuttings.