Showy Standing Cypress

Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) is.a biennial wildflower with striking spikes of red tubular flowers. Marc Speiss & Kei Andrews grew it from seed and planted it in different locations in their yard to find out where it would grow best. It is shown above in a backyard bed along with staggerbush (Lyonia fruticosa), silver blue saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), and other plants.

Also known as Texas plume, Ted Texas star, and Spanish larkspur, standing cypress is a biennial. Its begins as a basal rosette of fern-like foliage in the first year. During the summer/fall of the second year comes a tall (2 – 4′) terminal spike of red flowers, often with orangish or yellowish spots, that attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators.

Its foliage, at a swift glance, resembles the soft spring foliage of cypress trees …

Standing cypress grows in the well-drained soils of sandhills and dunes in central and north Florida. Its range extends to east central Texas and northward to south Oklahoma. While not native to Indian River County, this plant could be a wonderful addition to your yard, especially when planted in the company of other native plants, as in the yard of Kei Andrews and Marc Speiss.

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