Russelia equisetiformis

Russelia equisetiformis in the garden of Jill Budden in the Blue Mountains of NSW

Sometimes known as the coral plant or firecracker plant, this is a subshrub from Mexico, with wiry stems smothered in dainty, bright red tubular flowers all year round in the Sydney climate, though it is more floriferous in the warmer months. It belongs to the Plantaginaceae family of plants. It grows to around 1 to 1.5 m in height but tends to arch over, making it suitable to grow to cascade over a wall or bank. It is best in full sun, with well-drained soil. It is frost tender. There is a pretty pale yellow version of it. It can be trimmed back from time to time to keep it tidy. It provide a contrast of form in hot-coloured tropical borders with large-leaved plants. Propagation is by cuttings or division of rooted layers.

Flowers in January, February, March, April, September, October, November, December.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.