I've had this plant for over 10 years. I remember buying it at the South Coast Plaza Flower Show and accidentally breaking off the first flower before I even got it home. I had to wait a year to see another flower. It's called Odontonema callistachyum. Say Oh-daunt-oh-neem-uh CAl-E-stack-E-um. That's a mouthful! Research says a common name is Purple Firestrike. But the plant is so uncommon that I've never heard it called that.
|The spent flowers take on a fuzzy texture.|
I planted it in the ground at our house about 6 years ago on the east side. It likes part shade. Said to grow 6' tall, mine is about 7' tall and almost completely obscures one of my rain barrels. It is native to Mexico so may be a little susceptible to frost. Mine has had no damage. It is a little mysterious as to when it flowers. It seems to bloom sometimes here or there. Annie's Annuals says it blooms winter through spring. But this is August! So, who knows.
There is also a red version that's Odontonema stricta.