We just love this surprisingly winter hardy cuphea (cigar plant). Cuphea cyanea, a North American native, looks so delicate, but it’s rock hardy here in Zone 7b. Our original plant came from Asheville gardeners, Peter and Jasmine Gentling, where it survived fine in Zone 6b/7a. Our plant continues to be in full flower in mid-October. As you can see, the native bumblebees are thrilled to have it around.
I’ve been fascinated with cigar flowers since I was in my teens, only to find out years later that some were actually winter hardy here is Zone 7b. In flower now is one of my favorites, Cuphea cyanea ‘Ashevilla’. This gem looks so dainty, that it’s hard to imagine it making it through a winter, but here it is again this early summer, having survived for a decade in our gardens. Thanks to Asheville, NC gardeners Peter and Jasmine Gentling for sharing and alerting us to its winter hardiness there.