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Plantidote of the Day 2012-08-21

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scarlet bush

Hamelia patens

Scarlet bush, Mexican fire bush, hummingbird bush

A hummingbird and butterfly favorite, scarlet bush seems to fall in the gray area between garden plant and weed, depending on whether you planted it or the birds did it for you. Scarlet bush is happiest in Zones 8 through 11. It needs full sun and moderate amounts of water.

A relative of the coffee plant, scarlet bush produces black berries that birds like to eat. I'm not seeing any mention of toxicity, but if someone knows otherwise, please tell us about it in a comment. Plantidote is a collaborative effort, and the more collaborators, the better!

There's more information on scarlet bush here and here. Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the csomments.

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