Friday, November 19, 2010

plant of the week: Russellia equisetiformis 'Tangerine'

Here's another case of a huge improvement with just a change of color.  Already love Russellia equisetiformis? Me too,  but the red flowers are not everyone's cup of tea.  I am a huge fan of orange in the garden, and actually despite the name, R. 'Tangerine' is more a muted color, maybe a sorbet or something pastel.  I like those softer tones as they play well with others.

If you don't know Russellia equisetiformis already you've been missing out.  I often describe this plant as hummingbird crack, since once they find it that won't leave it alone.  It's not for every spot with that 3' tall and wide mop-like growth, but it is great for raised beds, hillsides and pots etc.  It fills the large pot in the garden nicely.  The foliage is reminiscent of horsetail hence the specific epithet,  so it has a soft broom-like texture that can be used to good effect.

My experience is that Russellia is very tough and drought tolerant,  but if you give it regular water and occasional feeding you can expect flowers all year round.  The big display comes in late winter and early spring usually.

Anyway, if you don't have you one yet, get one.


  1. Very nice! Definitely more mixable than the usual red, but do the hummingbirds like it as much?

  2. I can't imagine that they prefer one over the other. I do have the pale yellow near R. 'Tangerine' and it gets plenty of action. Shall I start a cutting?

  3. Wow. Beautiful cascading down the sides of that pot. I want!

  4. Where do you live? I'll start you one.


  5. I love your blog and gardens so very much. I am obsessing over this plant and cannot find it anywhere (online or otherwise). I'm in Los Angeles area - do you have any tips on where I might find one?