Anisacanthus Species, Flame Acanthus, Hummingbird Bush, Wright Anisacanth, Wright's Desert Honeysuck

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
Synonym:Drejera wrightii
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Cottonwood, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Sacramento, California

Temecula, California

Brooksville, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Gainesville, Florida(2 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Sorrento, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Hebron, Kentucky

New Iberia, Louisiana

Frederick, Maryland

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

Collierville, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas

Aledo, Texas

Alvin, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Belton, Texas

Boerne, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Dallas, Texas(2 reports)

Desoto, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Flint, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(5 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

Temple, Texas

Van Alstyne, Texas

Willis, Texas

Zapata, Texas

Stafford, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 1, 2020, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

It is now blooming in my zone 7b garden.


On Oct 8, 2018, marasri from Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I grow my plants in a hard native soil conditions mostly without any irrigation on top of a caliche and limestone hill in Central Texas. This bush has stood the test and weathered drops to 10 and rainfall of 7" in a year and floods. The birds and bees love it. It does throw its seeds around so there is that that might bug you, but I do not find it worrisome since the amount of them in my garden is not that much of an added labor drain. I just potted up three for a swap. And I am moving some around to another area for a clump for the bees and hummers. If you are weirded out by stray volunteers and live in a wetter area than me then find another plant. It also might make more foliage than flowers. I had to move it because the shade grew and it made less blooms. It does like areas that ... read more


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.


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 :-\


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.


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


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.