Saturday, November 5, 2011

Maybe with a Little Imagination....

Cuphea "Tiny Mice" or "Bat Face"'ll be able to see why this plant is nicknamed "Tiny Mice" and "Bat Face".  Its official name is Cuphea (phonetically:  kew-FAY-uh).  Click to enlarge the picture to the left and maybe, if you sort of squint, and look a little sideways, you can see that it somewhat resembles the face of a bat (although I've never been nose to nose with a real bat, and don't hope to be, so I can't say for sure).  Or you might view the little red petals on each side as the ears of mouse and the purple part, the face. 

Cuphea "Tiny Mice/Bat Face"

All likenesses aside, I think this is a nice plant to have in the garden because its tubular shape is so different than most flowers you might already have.  Also, it attracts hummingbirds.  I've only seen a hummingbird a few times this season, but that doesn't mean it doesn't visit with more frequency when I'm not looking.

Cuphea likes part to full sun, is heat tolerant, grows to a height of about 10 inches, and it's only hardy to zone 8.  So I will have to buy another one if I want it in my garden next year.  It blooms from spring to frost so even though you'll only have it for one season, you will definitely get your money's worth.  I have mine planted in a small terracotta pot along with only one other plant:  a creeping wire vine.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog and some of the photos are really amazing. The Cuphea is very interesting. Thanks for posting.

Miriam said...

Thanks for writing! I'm glad you like the blog and the pictures. I'm always amazed at the capability of my little point-and-shoot camera. --Miriam