Looking for an unusual plant in Florida that you won't see in your neighbors yard- well here it is! It is called Odontonema strictum or the common name is Firespike. It will grow in zone 7-11. I love this plant because when the flowers come out it is very striking but as the little flowers drop off the long flower stem- the stems are still red and very attractive. Therefore you don't have to prune these plants as soon as the flowers go by. It was voted "Plant of the Year" in 1998 by the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association. Any plant voted by any Nurserymen Association is usually a good choice.
Firespike grows about 4-5' tall and the same in width. They prefer sun to light shade. They bloom from the middle of the summer until mid winter. It is good to cut them back severely in February. If you are in areas of Florida that get freezes it will die back to the ground but will recover again.
I have planted them along with Ruella Purple Showers and Pinwheel Jasmine. They also look great with pentas. Enjoy this lovely plant!