August 30, 2011

Look closely…

I want to take just a moment to introduce one of my favorite annual/tender perennials…Cuphea llavea. Known as a “Mexican Heather,” this bushy, mounding plant reaches a height of about 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide. It is a sprawler and should be planted informally. The foliage is quite nice with its slightly blue-grey color and lanceolate shape. But the Mexican Heather’s real charm is revealed in the spring and lasts until fall with its fabulous blooms that resemble…get ready for it…the face of a bat! I swear, look!


Bat Face Cuphea produces masses of purple tubular flowers. The tubes are lipped with two upward-facing petals. These resemble ears, and the purple tips resemble the face of a bat, hence the common name. Cuphea llavea does great in the heat, requires excellent drainage, and is also drought tolerant.

All of this is great, but did I mention that the flower looks like a BAT FACE? Nah nah na nah nah nah nah nah Bat Face!!! Pow!

Happily Digging in the Dirt,

Gardener Matthew