Firecracker, Russelia equisetiformis, is a perennial, evergreen xeriscapic, salt tolerant shrub that grows 3′ to 5′ tall. Which means that the Firecracker shrub does not die each year, has green foliage year round, does not require a lot of water, and can tolerate some salt in the soil it is planted in and is a medium sized shrub.
Blooms and Leaves:
Firecracker blooms are red, just as the name suggests. It blooms all year with fiery red, tubular flowers that look like a fountain of red fireworks.
The biggest factor in the care category for a Firecracker plant is the space it is planted in. This beautiful shrub is best when it is allowed to grow wild and untamed. But, this takes lots of room in the landscape. After the perfect space has been decided on the other factors can be taken into consideration such as sunlight, which is best if it is full sun. Firecracker shrubs can also tolerate high heat, lots of salt spray, salty well-drained soil and low water. But they do not handle a lot of storm winds and they do well in soil that ranges from mildly alkaline to mildly acidic.
Propagation of the Firecracker shrub can be done with herbaceous stem cutting or by planting seeds. Seeds can be harvested from already established plants in the landscape by bagging the seedheads to capture the mature seeds. However, Firecracker shrubs will self-sow and you will have volunteer seedlings next year if you do not deadhead them. This ease of volunteer seedlings makes this plant somewhat invasive.
Firecracker shrubs can be used in butterfly and hummingbird gardens and is drought resistant after it becomes established in the landscape. It is beautiful when planted where it can cascade over a wall or when it is used in a corner of a fence as a filler. It is also beautiful when used under trees or even along the porch or deck. It can also be used as a container plant.
If you are designing a landscape and need a shrub to provide a focal point with cascading flowers then the Firecracker shrub could be just what you are looking for. It is also easy to grow and is a perennial so if it gets killed by a cold winter, it will resprout during the next spring.
University of North Florida
South Florida Plant Guide