Plant of the week

Native plants found in the Cayman Islands, by Joanne Mercille

Yellow Trumpet shrub or Fire Bush. - Photo: Kent Kainulainen

Yellow Trumpet shrub, Fire Bush/Hamelia cuprea
RUBIACEAE

Height: 15ft x 6ft
Growth habit: Deciduous in March and puts out new growth in spring
Flowers: Yellow trumpets or yellow-and-red trumpets bloom many times a year
Soil requirement: Loamy, good soil
Light requirements: Sun to partial-sun
Environment tolerance: Fairly drought-tolerant
Nature attracting: Butterflies and birds

DISTRIBUTION
It is found in Cuba, Haiti and all three of the Cayman Islands, but not on the Bahamian Islands.

DESCRIPTION
Fire Bush is an erect, round-shaped, large bush with evergreen leaves that will transition to copper with age. It blooms at the end of summer and throughout winter. Butterflies and birds are attracted to it.
Horticulture potential: Hamelia cuprea has a lot of potential. It can be a really nice hedger or specimen tree. The hunter-green swirled leaves that change colour are a very attractive feature, and the large yellow blooms will light up your garden several times a year.

Joanne Mercille bio
Mercille has called Grand Cayman home since 1997 and she has a keen interest in local flora. She is curator for the National Trust Herbarium and has created an online database for public viewing of the physical herbarium. She is also webmaster for www.caymanflora.org and owns Caribbean Blooms – a native plant nursery. She is an avid gardener and member of the Garden Club of Grand Cayman.

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