Blooming right now: Flame acanthus (anisacanthus quadrifidus))

Flame acanthus (anisacanthus quadrifidus var. Wrightii) is one of the Texas natives that thrives and blooms throughout our hot summer months. It is also called Butterfly Bush.Flame Acanthus 1It just keeps blooming and blooming, and producing lots of seeds.

Some of the details:

  • Deciduous
  • Height 3′-4′ (mine is 6′)
  • Considered a shrub
  • Spacing between 3′-4′
  • Zones: 7 – 10
  • Sun to Partial Shade (handles So. Texas summer sun well!)
  • Blooms Red or Orange
  • Blooms summer to late fall
  • Beneficial to bees, butterflies, hummingbirds
  • Requires very little water
  • Drought tolerant
  • Propagate from softwood cuttings or seed
  • Reseeds itself very easilyFlame Acanthus 2It does self seed very easily. That is good along our fence line to help see the deer out, but there are places they come up that I don’t necessarily want them, so I either dig them and pot them up for a plant swap or move them to a place I do want them.
Kivuli with a flame acanthus behind him (2011)

Kivuli with a flame acanthus behind him (2011)

In the winter you can cut them back half-way, all the way or not at all. It is up to you. The acanthus in the photos above (with the cat) was in its second year and it was cut back to the ground mid-winter.

It is a great native plant to have around. The hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy it all summer long.

Do you have something in your yard the blooms from Spring to Fall?

Sincerely, Emily

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4 Responses to Blooming right now: Flame acanthus (anisacanthus quadrifidus))

  1. Nancy Davis says:

    That butterfly bush is really lovely and I bet attracts lots of butterflies! We just planted two buddlea bushes this spring and I can’t wait till they are large enough to bloom. I cut some of my elderberry flowers and hung to dry. I waited till they were in full bloom and white but some of the flowers fall off. Is that the correct time to pick them?? Nancy

    • Thanks Nancy, It does attract a lot of the butterflies. And the hummers love it to. Oh how exciting to pick some of your elderflowers. YES – you are right, wait until they are in full flower to pick them. I was just in the Erie area and loved seeing all the elders in flower along the roadsides. SO SO beautiful. The one flower I had ended up having a short life. the darn deer got it through the fence I have around it. I need to make the fence a bit wider so they can’t reach it. I am hoping on of the other branches will send out a bloom, but haven’t seen any so far.

  2. Beautiful shrub – that’s awesome that it can take the heat and keep right on blooming all the way through the seasons. I love the colour of it.

    I overhauled one of my perennial beds this spring so that I would have some more “late bloomers” in it – most of my perennials tend to flower in late spring or early summer. I don’t really have any perennials or shrubs that carry on blooming right from spring to fall, but there are a few that will flower twice over.

    • Hi Sheryl, I love the color of the blooms too. Anything that handles the heat, and is drought and deer tolerant is a big ++ here. The fact that it blooms so long is a huge bonus.

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