Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Odontonema strictum

Odontonema stricta
The glistening red flowers of this 2 metres shrub are quite pleasing at this time of year. The "Justicia" (old name) shown above was removed ,cut off at ground level with a spade in the garden where this picture was taken but such is its hardiness ,it returned with renewed vigor within 6 months and is back in flower. It is probably regarded as an old fashioned plant now even though it has much to recommend it. Tolerant of light frost and it is compact enough to be grown as a hedge with minimal care.
2017 update: I still grow it though have no stock at present.


  1. There is supposedly also a pink form of Firespike around, labelled O. callystachium, and an alba-form of O. strictum, but I have never been able to locate either one of them. Somewhere hidden in a corner of an old garden...

    1. I have never heard of there being any variation in colour of flowers. I have been trying to get the real Justicia coccinea which this used to be called, It has a big red plume flower.