A well-adapted perennial from Mexico, Justicia (Justicia spicigera) does very well in hot, dry conditions. Other names for this plant are orange justicia, Mexican honeysuckle, hummingbird bush (a generic term for this and a lot of related plants), and orange plume flower. We originally obtained a small plant from a nursery, but they are relatively easy to start from seed and so now we have several. Like other, related plants, the seed pods burst open when they are ripe and fling the seeds quite some distance. Therefore, the most difficult part about propagating the plants is finding the seeds at just the right time before they are lost.
Once established, justicia grows about one to two feet tall and produces bright orange flowers all summer long, weathering the heat and dry conditions admirably. The blossoms begin as a long tube, but eventually, the bottom part of the flower opens and curls very tightly while the pistil extends outwards. The plants bloom equally well in sun or shade.