Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bahama Firebush
Hamelia cuprea

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Hamelia (ham-EE-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: cuprea (KUP-ray-uh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By butterflybyrob
Thumbnail #1 of Hamelia cuprea by butterflybyrob

By SusanLouise
Thumbnail #2 of Hamelia cuprea by SusanLouise


2 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral rjthrelkeld On Aug 3, 2010, rjthrelkeld from San Francisco, CA wrote:

How is a Nebraska summer out of the plant's zone? It strikes me as obvious that the plant can be over-wintered out of its zone (since I do) and the fact that it spent a summer outside as the cause of its death is preposterous. I don't want to be offensive but it is important to actually think. Had it died in the winter your point would be valid but unless Nebraska summers are unusually cold (particularly July), I think there is an explanation other than the irrelevant one presented by the Floridian. You might look for insect/virus damage
or improper watering as the cause. Next time, take it to a local University extension or nursery for assistance

Neutral Kiyzersoze On Jun 20, 2010, Kiyzersoze from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I hope that I don't offend anyone by my comment but it always makes me laugh when a person buys a plant not in their zone or better yet anywhere close to their zone and when it dies they blame the plant. I push zones all of the time but I usually think right before I plant it ('cause in Florida we don't over winter things) "Hmmm... I really like this plant! It's probably going to die", and sure enough in a few days it usually melts. That's not the plants fault!! The part that makes me laugh is when they say, and they always do, " I have no idea why it died". Anyway sorry about your plant and thanks for the giggle.

Positive mrickett On Apr 24, 2010, mrickett from Lawrenceville, GA wrote:

This is a great plant. It attracted a lot of hummingbirds to my garden. I live in zone 7 so I grew it in a pot and took it in for the winter. I kept it in a cool room and kept it mostly dry. It overwintered well and now has resprouted. I hope to have flowers soon.

Negative SusanLouise On Aug 13, 2009, SusanLouise from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

I had this plant in a pot since it's tropical and I was planning on overwintering it. the first couple of months (May and June) it grew fine. By mid-July it started to loose it's leaves and it was near completely bare by the end of July. I don't know why either. I still have 20 plants i pots on my patio doing fine...Cannas, Zinnias, Coreopsis, Cupheas, Milkweeds, and Salvias. I won't be getting this plant again...

Positive Tetrazygia On Jan 24, 2007, Tetrazygia from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Hybridizes easily with H. patens, and the offspring are highly variable with traits anywhere between those of either parent. The large, yellow, bell-shaped flowers are unique and impressive--it makes an excellent large bush or small tree (easily trained as a standard).


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hollywood, Florida
Miami, Florida
Ocoee, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Spring, Texas

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