This colorful shrub is a poinsettia relative. It provides an interesting form and texture with its zig-zag stems and red bracts. This perennial prefers full sun/part shade and can reach a height and spread of 2-3 feet. Devil’s backbone performs best in well drained soil moisture. Any type soil texture will work, from clay loam to sandy loam, from sandy to sandy clay. It has high drought and moderate salt tolerance and provides color year-round. It can be frost and freeze sensitive, but ours has not suffered from the weather — yet. This plant is great in a container, as a specimen plant or in a grouping. Hummingbirds are attracted to this beauty. Propagation is from cuttings and division. To view our Devil’s backbone, please stop by the Extension Service and visit the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM garden area. Hope to see you soon!
The Bette S. Walker Discovery Garden is one of several demonstration gardens at the UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner.