Now here's a firecracker that won't burn your fingers, make a loud noise or leave smoke wafting past your nose. Instead, this firecracker will produce about four feet of soft, needle-thin, feathery foliage that's covered with little red tubular flowers almost year round. It prefers full sun and does like moist soil when first planted. However, once the plant begins to mature and settles in for the long haul, it doesn't need as much water. It's a tough and resiliant plant well-suited to Florida's hot and humid summers.
The abundant red flowers attract butterlies and hummingbirds. You will, however, want to cover this plant during freeze warnings. Although, even with some frost damage, it will grow back in the spring. The firecracker looks like a fountain of red water. The leaf stalks come up and arch gracefully when they are about two to three feet long.
I buy my firecracker at Rockledge Gardens and split each pot into two plants. They grow quickly and fill in. I've planted about 15 firecrackers around the sunny sides of my yards. The plant comes with either red or white flowers.
Spring 2002: This is a 1-year-old firecracker with white flowers and its light, airy look softens the corner of the patio.