Russelia equisetiformis

Database of Endemic & Garden Plants of Pakistan

Moderators: Izhar, Tahir Khan, mirafzalkhan, Hamad Ahmed Kisana, rafique, KBW, jdashraf, Hamad, M Farooq

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M Farooq
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Country: Pakistan
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Gardening Interests: Fragrant Tropical Plants Ornamental Trees Vines

Russelia equisetiformis

Post by M Farooq » July 9th, 2013, 9:40 am

Botanical Name Russelia equisetiformis
Family Plantaginaceae
Genus Russelia
Specie equisetiformis
Local Name in Urdu Not a local plant, but occasionally seen in Pakistani gardens
Common Name firecracker plant, coral plant, fountain plant
Life Cycle Perennials
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cultivar Name NA
Fragrant or Not No fragrance
Category(Bush/Vine/Tree) Bush
Height 2-3 feet
Spacing 24-36 in.
Flowering Months Through out the year
Flower Color Orange red
Growing Areas All warm areas
Frost Tender Not available
Exposure Full sun to partial shade
Soil pH No specific issues
Propagation Stem cuttings
Uses Ornamentals
Other Details Russelia is a relatively less known but easily available plant for Pakistani gardens as major nurseries do sell it. But plant is native to Mexico. It requires well draining soil. As one can see from the pictures, there are no leaves, just thin drooping stems and pendant orange-red flowers. Russelia is said to be fast growing, easy to cultivate and it blooms almost continuously. It also grows very well in pots. A unique plant indeed in terms of the absence "foliage". The plant is said to attract lots of butterflies. Image by: M. Munir
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image courtesy Dr AYKHAN.

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Munir
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Location: Islamabad

Re: Russelia equisetiformis

Post by Munir » July 10th, 2013, 12:15 am

The full bush has sufficient foliage; here it is only a twig growing in the stone wall, without any soil for roots. I had removed the bush from the ground just below this remnant, which somehow got stuck in the stone( see left bottom corner of the picture) & has survived for over a year & flowered.It may be getting nourishment from the air.

M Farooq
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Posts: 1756
Joined: July 3rd, 2011, 4:31 am
Country: Pakistan
City: Karachi
Gardening Interests: Fragrant Tropical Plants Ornamental Trees Vines

Re: Russelia equisetiformis

Post by M Farooq » July 10th, 2013, 2:32 am

munir wrote:The full bush has sufficient foliage; here it is only a twig growing in the stone wall, without any soil for roots. I had removed the bush from the ground just below this remnant, which somehow got stuck in the stone( see left bottom corner of the picture) & has survived for over a year & flowered.It may be getting nourishment from the air.
Munir shb, nice to see you today (Farhan's visit). Just as we say about some children who do not eat anything...(huva per zinda hey), you said the same thing about your plant (huva per zinda hey). That is like a true fatherly gardener. Joke aside, I guess, your plant is growing inside a bottle necked cavity in the stone i.e. there might be a relatively large cavity inside while apparently on the exterior, the opening is narrow. I cannot think of any other possibility. May be Russelia roots secrete something that slowly dissolves the rocks! This will be fancy science. Wish we could easily do X-ray photography ;-)

Do others have explanations as to how Munir sahab's Russelia is growing on a stone wall? Ficus is another interesting plant which grows on stones- one can see Ficus (peepal trees) growing on the walls of old apartment buildings of Karachi (unfortunately, drawing water from the leaking sewage lines).

Munir
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Posts: 1088
Joined: October 23rd, 2012, 1:43 pm
Country: Pakistan
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Gardening Interests: Ornamental Plants,Vines,Annuals,Herbs,Veggies & Fruit Trees.
New Love: Roses & Lilies
Location: Islamabad

Re: Russelia equisetiformis

Post by Munir » July 10th, 2013, 8:47 am

Farooq you are right, it can't survive on 'nothing' . Certainly there must be some minimal growing environment that keeps it going. What I meant was that it is not a proper full size plant & is there on its own with practically no care.I seem to have over-emphasised this aspect earlier.

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