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PlantFiles: Hummingbird Bush, Flame Acanthus, Wright Anisacanth, Muicle
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Anisacanthus (uh-niss-uh-KAN-thus) (Info)
Species: quadrifidus var. wrightii

Synonym:Anisacanthus wrightii

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

45 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Blooms repeatedly


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

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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Thumbnail #1 of Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii by frostweed

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There are a total of 15 photos.
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9 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Fires_in_motion On Nov 23, 2014, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

It's an alright shrub. It just looks very weedy, in my opinion, with uninteresting, light green leaves, and the flowers are small and non-showy. So I ended up hacking out most of it, leaving a few spare stalks just because I didn't want to completely banish it. The stalks are extremely fragile and fibrous, seemingly shattering off if one so much as looks at the plant wrong.
By the way, this site says it's hardy to 0 F, but mine just got all its leaves melted to brown mush by our 28 freeze the other night. Another strike against this plant.

Positive TejasMe On Nov 9, 2014, TejasMe from Llano, TX wrote:

This Flame Acanthus (Hummingbird Plant), along with the Firecracker
Plant (Anisacanthus quadrifidus) has brought bees back to my garden! I love it! I had planted 2 beds with plants from 'big box' stores which I am told are treated with insecticide - I had not seen a bee for a while. So I planted this other bed with plants from a reputable nursery and now have bees, hummingbirds, & butterflies again! :-) Now I have 30! baby Flame Acanthus potted & in my little hothouse (ready for predicted freeze next week), but am unsure of watering for those babies in pots. They did not look very happy yesterday :-\

Positive jlsdaisies On Mar 29, 2013, jlsdaisies from el paso, tx
United States wrote:

I love my anisacanthus! I took some new plants from my grandmother's garden last fall. I wasn't sure they would make it after our freezes in the winter but within the last week they've gone crazy. I can't wait for them to bloom to bring out the hummingbirds.

Positive whenpigsfly On Sep 16, 2012, whenpigsfly from Willis, TX wrote:

This plant isn't showy, but bees, hummingbirds and butterflies love it. Give it plenty of space to spread out...I put mine in a huge (20") pot in the spring. Since then, the plant has tripled in size, and the roots fill the pot. I'm going to transplant it into a whiskey barrel. Cuttings I took in the Spring are rootbound in qt containers; those will go into the ground

Negative devonhull On May 30, 2011, devonhull from Lake Jackson, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

It spread to at least twice the original planting area by 100s of seedlings. I dug it up and threw it out. It seemed invasive to me. Flowers are very small and not very interesting.

Positive KristinaNM On Oct 23, 2010, KristinaNM from Las Cruces, NM wrote:

Native desert shrub to Southern New Mexico, Central Southwestern Texas, and Arizona.

Positive BajaBlue On Mar 15, 2010, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Hummingbird Bush is native of Mexico and Texas is a delight for hummingbirds. Its a small, spreading shrub with orangish-red tubular
flowers from mid-July or August ( earlier in the southern states,) until frost.

Hummingbird Bush is suited to a wide variety of soils, including poor soils, and is drought and heat tolerant.

Positive mswestover On Oct 5, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I purchased three little ones last spring so now in their second year they are 3' X 3'. Hummingbirds do love them. They get watered when it rains.

Positive SisterClay On Mar 9, 2006, SisterClay from Hurst, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love this plant! I planted it in the fall from a little 4 inch pot. When it grew back in the spring, it was huge. It grew to about a 6 foot spread by 3 feet tall. I was also pleasently suprised to look out my window one day to see a hummingbird feeding on it.

It did produce at least 1 new plant the following fall which I dug up and planted in another part of the garden.

Positive frostweed On Aug 24, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant, and so do the hummingbirds. It blooms all summer even in
part shade, and can take the heat with no problem.
I do not have any trouble with it overpopulating and I would not mind having many of them. They are beautiful and easy to root, blooming through the hottest part of summer.
This plant is endemic to Texas and one of my favorite shrubs.

Positive GardenQuiltLady On Aug 23, 2004, GardenQuiltLady from New Braunfels, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Every garden should have one Flame acanthus, and only one! Seedlings pop up everywhere in the yard propogated by birds, wind, etc. Hummingbird magnet. Blooms summer through first frost. I never, ever water mine. Do not plant with intentions of containing it to one area.


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

Tucson, Arizona
Sacramento, California
Temecula, California
Brooksville, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Sorrento, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Cordele, Georgia
Hebron, Kentucky
New Iberia, Louisiana
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Flora Vista, New Mexico
La Luz, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Holly Springs, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Swansboro, North Carolina
Washington, North Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Abilene, Texas
Aledo, Texas
Alvin, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Belton, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Desoto, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Flint, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (4 reports)
Frisco, Texas
Georgetown, Texas (2 reports)
Groesbeck, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Hurst, Texas
Irving, Texas
Jacksonville, Texas (2 reports)
Lake Jackson, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Llano, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
Mexia, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Rosenberg, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (7 reports)
Spring, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Van Alstyne, Texas
Willis, Texas
Zapata, Texas
Stafford, Virginia

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