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Cuphea llavea

  • Common Name
    Bat-faced Cuphea
  • CA Native
  • Plant Type
  • Size
    18" - 24" x 24"
  • Flower Color
    Red and Purple
  • Bloom Time
    • Constant
  • Leaves
    Small, Fuzzy Green
  • Evergreen
  • Deer Resistant
    Seldom Damaged
  • Wildlife Value
    • Attracts Beneficial Insects
    • Hummingbirds
  • Growth Rate
  • Hardiness
  • Adverse Growth Factors
  • Special Features
    • Fall Color
    • Low Maintenance
    • Showy Flowers
  • Water Use
    • Drought Tolerant
    • Low
  • Soil pH
    6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Exposure
    • Full Sun
    • Partial Shade
    • Shade
  • Soil Type
    Not Particular
  • Drainage
    Well Drained
  • Description and Cultural Plant Tips

    Cupheas bloom nonstop all year round in most Marin locations. Will die to the ground in areas that get hard frosts but will grow from roots the following spring. This mounding sub-shrub has masses of 1" long red and purple flowers. The tubes are lipped with 2 upward facing pedals that resemble ears and the purple tips resemble the face of a bat. Plant behind yellow Coreopsis grandiflora 'Early Sunrise' , yellow or pink lantana or with yellow daylilies.

    Plant slightly higher than soil grade in well-drained soil. Likes it sunny and hot. Very easy to grow. Is heat and drought tolerant. Can be trimmed to give it a more compact shape.

    Hummingbirds love this plant.

    No diseases or pest problems.

  • Master Gardener Comments

    I have this plant in a large container on my deck. It gets afternoon sun and blooms nonstop all year round. A great conversation piece. Children love the little bat faces.

  • Varietals

    C. llavea 'Caribbean Sunset' - yellow and orange flowers

    C. llavea 'Flamenco Samba' - cherry red with purple throat

    C. llavea 'Flamenco Tango' - pink and violet flowers