Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’
Synonyms of Cuphea lanceolata (7) (Updated on 1-2-23 from Plants of the World Online): Cuphea emarginata Piergrossi (1883), Cuphea lanceolata f. rosea Regel (1864), Cuphea lanceolata var. silenoides (Nees) Regel (1864), Cuphea lanceolata f. silenoides (Nees) Regel (1864), Cuphea lanceolata f. typica Regel (1864)(not validly publ.), Cuphea silenoides Nees (1836), Cuphea zimapani É.Morren (1864)
Cuphea lanceolata W.T. Aiton is the accepted scientific name for this species of Cuphea. It was first described by William Townsend Aiton in 1811 in Hortus Kewensis, or a Catalogue of the Plants Cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. London.
The genus, Cuphea P.Browne, was named and described by Patrick Browne in Civil and Natural History of Jamaica in Three Parts in 1756.
As of 1-2-23 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 255 species in the Cuphea genus. It is a member of the plant family Lythraceae with 28 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
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I bought seeds of the Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’ from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in the spring of 2012. They germinated very well and I had enough to transplant along the brick sidewalk going through the garden in the backyard, in the bed on the west side of the garden, and in the bed along the west sunroom. The plants grow at least 2′ tall and they prefer to be allowed to meander through the other plants. The stems are multi-branching, so soon, if you allow them to do as they please, it will look like you have a mass planting. The flowers of ‘Purple Passion’ are dark purple. They have 6 petals, 2 are large and 4 are small. The two larger petals look like ears. The stems and leaves feel sticky and will stick to each other and to other plants.
The flowers are small and taking good photos was kind of difficult.
These are typically grown as an annual but are a tender perennial in USDA zones 10a-11. They prefer consistently moist soil but dislike being overwatered. They need to be grown in well-drained soil.
They probably prefer growing in full sun, but part of my plants were in part shade. They did just as good but didn’t seem to flower as well as the plants in full sun.
I believe these plants are natives of Mexico.
I really enjoyed growing this very interesting plant for many reasons. Their deep purple flower color, for one, but also because they were just plain strange. If you want a neat and tidy plant that does what you want it to, then they are not for you. I tried staking them when they were young because they kept falling over. Then I realized that was what they wanted, so I let them have their way. I find that when you let some plants do as they please they will be happy and show you their best. That is the Cuphea lanceolata ‘Purple Passion’. They will sprawl among the other plants and add their nice purple flowers among them and are very happy that way.
This is definitely a “try it, you’ll like it” plant.
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