Cuphea glutinosa is a short-lived South American perennial that has been found outside of cultivation in wet ground in Louisiana and Texas. The plant has sprawling stems and forms a small groundcover several inches tall and about one-half to one square foot in extent. The small flowers are about half an inch in diameter but are showy and conspicuous because of their bright violet-pink color. It was rather popular for a brief period among collectors of cottage-garden-style plants but it has been eclipsed by taller and showier Cuphea species and hybrids and it is now very rarely available in horticultural commerce. This is perhaps not unfortunate given its propensity to establish itself in sunny areas with moist or wet soils.
© 2010 Rufino Osorio.