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Cuphea cyanea - Pink Mouse Cuphea

Flowers don't get much cuter than this!  The "Pink Mouse" CupheaCuphea cyanea subsp. hirtella - is an adorable perennial that's high on my list of favorite plants.  These playful blooms light up the plant from spring through fall, with their awesome color combination of hot pink and yellow.  Even if you don't like mice, it's a fun, spunky plant that happens to be easy to grow!  This pink subspecies is rare and hard to find.

Cuphea cyanea - Pink Mouse Cuphea

Cuphea cyanea is a compact plant from Mexico that grows about 18 inches across.  While it's not the biggest Cuphea, its eye-catching blooms makes it a star performer in a pot or hanging planter.  Its unique, inch-long blooms appear along racemes for about half the year - or all year if grown indoors!  Their tubular body is hot pink or fuchsia, with a yellow "face" and purple "whiskers" and "ears" (or "eyes", depending on your perspective).  And like any self-respecting mouse, it is covered with fuzz.  Kids get a kick out of the flowers - and hummingbirds like them too!

Cuphea cyanea - Pink Mouse Cuphea

Cuphea cyanea is reported to handle summer heat well, especially if nights are cool.  There are reports of it taking winter temperatures in the mid-20s (-4C), but i would be cautious with it below freezing.  It enjoys mostly sunny conditions, with some shade from hot afternoon sun.  Like most Cupheas, it prefers fertile, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist (but not soggy).  Trim back the longer branches periodically to keep the plant nice and bushy.

Photo #2 courtesy of Steve Law, photo #3 by Annie Hayes

 

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