Cuphea are such useful little shrubby plants for Sydney gardens, and there are quite a number of different ones available these days. A distinctive hybrid form, called 'Ballistic' is the result of a deliberate cross between Cuphea ignea and Cuphea lanceolata by a Queensland breeder. It has a good mounding habit and doesn't seem to get lanky or untidy. The blooms are larger than usual Cuphea and are a striking combination of a pink-purple flower tube with dark purple petals with a white lip.
Flowers are produced profusely over the little shrub, which grows about 60 cm tall by 60 cm wide. In a frost-free garden, it will bloom all year round. However, its main flowering season is spring through to autumn. It grows in sun or part shade, and needs normal garden care. It can be trimmed lightly in late winter to maintain a compact shape. It can be grown from cuttings. The colours of the flowers lend themselves to pairings with plants with flowers or leaves of a similar hue - such as the pink/purple-marked coleus in the photo above.
Flowers in January, February, March, April, May, October, November, December.