Hummingbird Bush: What Does a Hummingbird Bush Look Like?


Hummingbird Bush

Hummingbird Bush

The Hummingbird Bush, also known as Flame Acanthus, Wright’s Honeysuckle, and Wright’s Anisacanthus, is native to the Edwards Plateau’s rocky regions in west-central Texas.

This shrub to shrub-like grows to 3 to 4 feet vertically and can stretch out about 3 to 4 feet horizontally. It thrives well in various soil types, from clay to sand to rock.

It blooms in full sun, but it can tolerate a bit of shade and still pop out a few flowers.

What Does a Hummingbird Bush Look Like?

Hummingbird bush plants are bushy plants that reach heights of 2 feet (1 m.), with a spread of about 3 feet (1 m.).

The plush leaves and stems are an attractive shade of grayish-green.

The multitude of bright, reddish-orange flowers at stem tips is upright and tube-shaped, making it easy for hummingbirds to reach the sweet nectar.

This versatile perennial is suitable for planting and growing in USDA plant hardiness zones seven and above.

In colder climates, grow hummingbird plants as an annual. It is ideal for containers, hanging baskets, flower beds, or borders.

Hummingbird Bush Plant Care

The bush will lie dormant during the winter but will burst forth better than ever when temperatures rise in spring.

The hummingbird bush plant is resilient to most pests and diseases, although it may rot in soggy, poorly drained soil.

Deer prefer to leave this plant alone, probably because of the fuzzy foliage.

Hummingbird Bush Plantis in Acanthaceae or the Acanthus family. This family has close to 2,500 species, roughly in about 250 genera.

 In Texas, prevalent species are American Water-Willow (Justicia Americana), Wild Petunias (Ruellia sp.), and Snakeherb (Dyschoriste linearis).

Non-natives such as Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea) and Clockvine (Thunbergia alata) are generally used in cultivation.

One of the coolest things about this plant is its mechanism of spreading! 

In late fall, the pollinated flowers make capsules that have unique structures attached to the seeds. 

These small hook-like outgrowths are called a retinaculum. Once the capsule dries, it breaks open, and the retinaculum flings the seed away, enabling the bush to spread. 

All along with the summer heat, the capsules can be quite explosive and launch the seeds many feet away! The young plants are easy to weed out if you so chose.


Hummingbird Bushes are a fantastic addition to your garden.

Their energetic flowers on top of brightening up your yard will also act as a magnet to hummingbirds drawing them into your garden.

If you would like to add them to your garden, here are the essential things to have in mind:

  • Hummingbird Bush is an ultra low-maintenance plant, virtually thriving off better if you neglect it.
  • Plant in thoroughly-draining soil, in high sun, and add water during seasons of harsh drought.
  • Skip fertilizers and do not plant in overly shady spots, which may avert the plant from blooming.
  • Hard clip the Hummingbird Bush preceding spring to boost flowering and new sprouts.
  • Hummingbirds adore this plant’s shiny, tubular flowers, so planting it is an excellent way to lure them to your garden.
  • Shortage of rain is commonly not a problem for this hard woody perennial, even though it can swiftly flower after a summer rain splash.
  • It may require a bit of watering for the first year, but once it is established, it seldom needs watering.
  • You will surely appreciate this native plant in your landscape – you and the hummingbirds will enjoy it!

Simple to grow and maintain, and spectacularly beautiful.

Plant your Hummingbird Bush and admire the results.


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