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Posted by Temecula z9/19 CA (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 26, 03 at 13:56

In trying to research this new (to me) plant, I've become terribly confused. The tag is labled as Phygelius New Sensation with a second name in smaller print underneath which reads Devil's Tears. My research indicates that New Sensation and Devil's Tears are different, so I'm not sure what exactly I have. The tag says it will reach 3'-4' in height and width although websites I've visited say everything from 1' tall to 4'-6' tall! Okay, I need help on this . . .

a. Can you help me clarify the name issue?

b. I live in a hot, dry summer climate. Winters can get below 25 with some frost. Can you tell me if this is a full sun or partial sun plant in my area?

c. Can you help clarify the size question?

Thanks so much!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Phygelius

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 26, 03 at 23:10

I don't grow Phygelius myself, but have seen it around, and if given regular water they can get quite large. If you grow it on the dryer side, it is likely to stay within the size range of the label. You have one of the P.x rectus hybrids, Sunset Western Garden Book lists Devil's Tears as being scarlet with yellow throat. Light frosts are unlikely to faze it, but it will return from the roots in a hard freeze, and is evergreen and flowers summer through fall, and often into winter here along the coast in northern California.

Be forewarned that this plant will spread by the roots and can get quite wide, so don't plant it next to plants that could be overwhelmed. I am most familiar with P. aequalis and P. x rectus 'Moonraker', both usually pale yellow in bloom. Hummingbirds really like the flowers. It might be at its best with light afternoon shade in your situation.

As to size, when in bloom, I would guess that 3 to 4 feet tall by wide is the most probable, I have never seen any just 1 foot tall! If you have lots of empty space to fill in the garden, this is easily propagated from root divisions/cuttings.

RE: Phygelius

Bahia, thanks for your response. I forgot to mention that my plant has purple flowers, not scarlet. I read the Sunset reference too. I'm trying to find a better spot for it based upon your information. I put it behind alstromeria, but it sounds like it will overrun them. I have a raised planter that gets morning sun, then its mostly shade in the afternoon. It will be between fruit trees and in front of a privet/escallonia hedge. That might work, if not, I'll remember what you said about propagating it. Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

RE: Phygelius

My understanding is that P. 'New Sensation' is a new cultivar similar to the magenta-flowered 'Sensation'. I have't seen the New Sensation in nurseries here yet (San Diego area), but for me the 'Sensation' was a major disappointment and i'd definitely try the new one. In my garden 'Sensation' was almost prostrate, unlike all my other Phygelius. The one which has the most blooms here is P. 'Salmon Leap' -for me it is covered in blooms virtually all year long, in a nice rich salmon shade. Good cut flower, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: San Diego Horticultural Society

RE: Phygelius

Susi, I found 'New Sensation' at Buena Creek Gardens. It does not seem to be prostrate, at least not yet, but it is a new plant so time will tell. It is sort of leaning into the fence as though I didn't plant it deep enough. I'm waiting for the soil to dry out a little from the rain to replant it. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it will stand upright after that. I never thought of using them as cut flowers - that is a good bit of info. as I love to bring bouquets inside. Did you see hummingbirds on yours or on your salmon one? That's the main reason I planted it.

RE: Phygelius

I have grown Phygelius capensis in Zone 7 for several years. It is crimson with yellow throat, and yes, the hummingbirds love it. It has withstood temps in the middle teens several winters. I love it, but you have to bear in mind that it is a plant that does not have a very tidy growth habit - it blends in best with informal plantings. Una Van der Spuy in her book "South African Shrubs and Trees for the Garden" states "as the flower stems tend to keel over it is advisable to stake the plants".
Seems to me that P. capensis is called by the common name of "Cape fuchsia" here in the States. In its native habitat is is often found growing on hills or lower mountain slopes. Delina

RE: Phygelius

  • Posted by oakjack USDA 9 Sunset16 (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 21, 03 at 11:18

Just picked up a variey P. 'Salmon Leap' at Western Hills Nursery in Occidental (the best nursery in NoCal for unusual plants). Anyone have experience w. this variety? I got it because it was described as deer-proof. I wanted to plant it at the back of a bed but the previous comments about floppiness and rambunctiousness is making me re-think this idea. Thoughts? THANKS!

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