The firecracker plant

Gorgeous red flowers that are suddenly in bloom, just in time for Chinese New Year.

What better time to show off our firecracker plant (russelia equisetiformis, aka coral plant/fountain bush) than at Chinese New Year?

The cascading red flowers call to mind the clustered strings of hanging red firecrackers that were traditionally set off to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, and to welcome the lunar new year.

Of course, exploding firecrackers are not that common in Singapore any more, because of the fire hazard they posed in the past. However, a tradition is a tradition, and you can still see them used as decorations – and of course, hear the occasional string of smaller firecrackers going off…

It’s just timely that our firecracker plant is in bloom for the festive season. Our plant, a gift from a family friend, sits in semi-shade and seems to like a well-drained soil. I’d like to transfer it to a larger pot so it can grow even bigger. And if I figure out how to harvest the seeds and propagate them, perhaps next year we’ll have a whole row of them to display!

For now, the year of the Rabbit begins, and I’d like to wish my Chinese readers a happy, prolific bountiful New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai! 8)

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The firecracker plant — 16 Comments

  1. I do! Lol. Just that I try not to waste plastic so I don’t pop bubble wrap as much any longer. Want to be able to re-use them. XD

  2. Please can you tell me where I can source the Firecracker plant? I live in Mumbai, India and have been looking for it for AGES! I am SO keen to have some in my garden! PLEASE help

    • Hi Inez, we got our plant from a friend. I’ve been trying to grow plants from what I assume are seed pods, but haven’t had luck yet. Have you tried seed suppliers online, or asking on gardening forums?