Scrophularia macrantha

Redbirds In A Tree

 

Video

     

Red Birds in a Tree is a rare shrub from the southern mountains of New Mexico and Arizona. It blooms all summer with spires of small red, white-lipped flowers that resemble a flock of red birds perched on a tree branch.

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Regular Price: $9.99

Sale $8.99

Per Plant - 2.5" deep pot You save: 10%
Zones 5 - 10
Advantages
Attract Butterflies
Attract Butterflies
Attract Hummingbirds
Attract Hummingbirds
Bee Friendly
Bee Friendly
Rabbit Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Easy to grow
Good for Cut Flowers
Good for Containers
Native
Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks)
Good Rockgarden or alpine plant
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Annual Rainfall
1020
10 to 20"
2030
20 to 30"
3040
30 to 40" (with care)
Bloom Time Early summer to mid fall
Shipping Shipping begins in early September, coldest zones first. Buy now and we'll ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Expected ship week will display at checkout after you enter your zip code. More shipping info Learn More…
Size Plant - 2.5" deep pot
SKU 92750
Award: Plant Select Award: Green Thumb Award

Details

1998 Green Thumb Award Winner + 2008 Plant Select Winner. 36-48" tall x 18" wide (seed propagated). Cookes Peak's pine-covered summit rises to over 8,400 feet, towering over the desert near Deming, NM. Looking south you see the panorama of Mexico and its vast expanse of the Chihuahuan desert. From Scrophularia's high altitude habitat of over 7,200 ft. on this mountain's slopes, Panayoti Kelaidis of the Denver Botanic Gardens collected the seed our stock plants were grown from. Scrophularia, a very rare Penstemon relative, is a garden treasure blooming from early summer through fall with long wands of white-lipped, cherry-red flowers. The dark green angular foliage is also quite handsome. The plant has a tall, informal habit and will lean over and intertwine with tall neighboring plants for support. Plant it next to Pitcher's Sage or 'Blue Fortune' Hyssop for this very reason. Very popular with the hummingbirds, too!
SKU 92750
Common Name Redbirds In A Tree
Botanical Name Scrophularia macrantha
Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Light Requirements Full Sun, Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade
Flower Color Red
Mature Height 36-48" tall
Mature Spread 18" wide
Bloom Time Early summer to mid fall
Ships As Potted Plant
Native Yes
Planting Time Spring / Summer, Fall
Soil Type Compost Enriched Garden Loam Soil
Soil Moisture Drought Resistant / Waterwise
Amount of Rain 10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)
Advantages Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Easy to grow, Good for Cut Flowers, Good for Containers, Native, Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks), Good Rockgarden or alpine plant
Special Groups High Country Gardens Introduction
Ideal Region Suitable Above 7000 ft, Coastal California, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Planting Guides

Scrophularia macrantha (Red Birds in a Tree) is a long-blooming native wildflower that is easy-to-grow and provides ample nectar for hummingbirds. It's resistant to browsing rabbits.

Preferred growing conditions:

  1. Scophularia grows will in a wide range of soil types, but not clay.
  2. It should be mulched in dry climates with crushed gravel, pine needles and other non-water retentive mulch materials like crushed pecan shells. Avoid bark mulch and wood chips, as these can cause fungal disease in rainy conditions.
  3. Requires deep, regular watering in dry climates.
  4. Plant in full or part sun conditions. Afternoon shade is best in hotter climates. Full sun with regular irrigation is fine in moderately hot summer regions.
  5. Adding just a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix in the planting hole is enough. Avoid rich, highly -mended soil as this encourages rapid, soft growth and the plant will likely not make it through the winter.

Special comments:

  • Scrophularia is not a long lived perennial and gardeners should expect to replace old plants every 3 to 4 years. It is a star of the garden and well worth the investment.
  • Avoid chemical fertilizers and too much water, as this will cause the plant to grow quite large and floppy, reducing winter hardiness and shortening its lifespan in the garden.

Garden care:

  1. Fertilize Scrophularia just once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II
  2. To improve cold hardiness, leave plants standing through the winter and cut back the stems to a height of 2-3" inches in mid-spring.

View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.

Shipping

Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Fall shipping begins the week of September 4 (zones 3-4 first) and ends in early November. Expected ship week will display at checkout after you enter your zip code.

Most plant and bulb orders arrive within 2-6 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses in Colorado. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.

Grass Plugs & Seed: Most orders ship within 5-8 business days (all zones).

Gardening Goods:All non-plant items ship within 2-3 days.

Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.

More Shipping Info.

Reviewsby PowerReviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
High Country GardensScrophularia macrantha
 
4.6

(based on 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (18)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Attractive (20)
  • Accurate instructions (16)
  • Healthy (14)
  • Hardy (9)
  • Versatile (6)

Cons

  • Small in size (4)

Best Uses

  • Garden (19)
  • Outdoors (12)
  • Patio (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid gardener (12), Master gardener (7), Getting started (3)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (23)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Spring Follow-up

This is a follow-up to my comments last summer. My plant is in a pot on the patio at 6000 in SW New Mexico. It gets full sun in the summer. I watered...Read complete review

This is a follow-up to my comments last summer. My plant is in a pot on the patio at 6000 in SW New Mexico. It gets full sun in the summer. I watered it about once a week if there was no rain. The reviewer in Oregon might have kept the plant too wet. My plant bloomed until frost. After the branches died back I pruned it close to the soil. I was pleased that it came through the winter in the pot on the patio and is now about 8 inches high with lush green growth. Our winters get down to about 20 degrees at night. We did have some snow and I watered a few times in between. I plan to buy more. It's a great plant.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great When they Grow

I had one of these plants about 5 years ago. It lived for 2 years and never grew to be much higher than a foot. So I decided to get 4 more, to...Read complete review

I had one of these plants about 5 years ago. It lived for 2 years and never grew to be much higher than a foot. So I decided to get 4 more, to see what I could do with them.. Two of the four made it, and two died, within a month of planting. The two that survived did remarkably well. The one which received only morning sunlight doing the best, and grew to be over 2 foot tall. The other received morning sunlight and some afternoon light. It grew to be about 18" high. Both had a lot of flowers, and were appreciated by hummingbirds.

Reviewed by 23 customers

Displaying reviews 1-23

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5.0

Very nice mixer

By 

from Santa Fe

About Me Avid Gardener

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attractive

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Garden

    Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

    I have this plant tucked into the corner of my rose garden and it is delightful. Hearing that it is a short lived plant, another one is started, and can take it's place. It is a narrow plant, and somewhat tall, so it looks good with lower, more bushy plants to grow through.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
     
    2.0

    Struggling badly

    By 

    from Green Valley

    About Me Master Gardener

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate Instructions

    Cons

    • Needs to be bigger to survive
    • Small In Size

    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Outdoors

    Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

    I've been doing a prayer dance to get this little baby to survive. It's just struggling. I finally put it in a pot so I could keep an eye on it, had it up to about 5" hight and it just toppled over....some new growth at the base but I'm just at a loss.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
     
    5.0

    Wonderful hummingbird attractant!

    By 

    from SE MASS

    About Me Avid Gardener

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    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attractive
    • Healthy

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

        This plant was a great surprise to me! I was unsure that something native to Arizona would fare well in my New England garden, but it totally blew me away! Grew extremely fast, from a tiny 4" plant in a 2" pot when it arrived, to a bush that was about 18" around and 12-18" high, covered with red blooms. We saw hummingbirds at it most every day once it started blooming, and it continued on for months! What a delightful little plant with a big impact, thank you!

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Love it!

        By 

        from Helena, MT

        About Me Professional Landscaper

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attractive
        • Hardy
        • Healthy
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Garden
          • Outdoors

          Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

          Red-Birds-in-a-Tree is one of my favorite perennials to use at home & in my clients' landscapes. It is beautiful, hardy and extremely low maintenance. The little plants I order from HCG always arrive healthy & grow quickly. Since they are so tiny I have accidentally ripped them apart while weeding but they came back with vigor.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal
           
          5.0

          This is my favorite plant. I have several.

          By 

          from Reno, NV

          About Me Master Gardener

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Accurate Instructions
          • Attractive
          • Hardy
          • Rabbits and squirrels stayed away

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Garden

            Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

            I have several in a row at the back of a raised bed. They are a little hedge above other plants. I love the look of little birds all over the plant.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal
             
            5.0

            Spectacular! Wish I had room for more!

            By 

            from Littleton, CO

            About Me Master Gardener

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate Instructions
            • Attractive
            • Hardy
            • Healthy

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Garden

              Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

              Added a section of low water perennials to my yard this summer. Absolutely love Red Birds in a Tree!!!

              • Primary use:
              • Personal
               
              5.0

              Very pretty - humming birds loved it.

              By 

              from New Jersey

              About Me Getting Started

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate Instructions
              • Attractive
              • Healthy

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Garden

                Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                Planted in my butterfly/humming bird garden - a nice addition.

                • Primary use:
                • Personal
                 
                5.0

                Great as always

                By 

                from Bowie, md

                About Me Master Gardener

                See all my reviews

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Accurate Instructions
                • Attractive
                • Hardy
                • Healthy

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Garden

                  Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                  Put this towards the back of my large garden. It's doing great.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  LOVE this flower!!!

                  By 

                  from Arvada, CO

                  About Me Avid Gardener

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate Instructions
                  • Attractive
                  • Healthy
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Garden
                    • Outdoors
                    • Patio

                    Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                    OK I live in zone 6 (Denver, CO) and I purchased this plant this spring. I was intrigued as I had never see it before .I have a walk out basement so you cannot see my yard from the living area so I do must of my gardening on our large deck. I had 80 pots this year. This plant thrived and grew beautifully in an average pot. I plan to bring it in this fall after the first hard frost and put it in the basement with filtered natural light and very cool. I am also collecting the seed. What do you think my chances are for either of these plans?

                    • Primary use:
                    • Personal

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Growing well

                    By 

                    from Denver

                    About Me Avid Gardener

                    See all my reviews

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Accurate Instructions
                    • Attractive
                    • Hardy
                    • Healthy

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Garden
                      • Outdoors

                      Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                      Bloomed heavily the first summer. This year despite a late snow, 3 hailstorms and competing neighbor plants it is looking good. After first blooming I cut off spent blooms and it is going again.

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal
                       
                      3.0

                      Lost both

                      By 

                      from Enid oklahoma

                      About Me Master Gardener

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Accurate Instructions
                      • Attractive

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Garden
                        • Outdoors

                        Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                        I bought 2 this spring. One died before getting big enough to flower. The other did really well and then just died. I am buying 2 more because I love them so much.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal
                         
                        5.0

                        Stunned it made it

                        By 

                        from Bath County VA

                        About Me Getting Started

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Accurate Instructions
                        • Attractive
                        • Healthy

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Garden

                          Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                          Planted 3 last year and one survived a very weird Bath County VA winter. It is about 18 inches high with buds. I did not get to see it last year -- had an ankle fusion -- but my lovely neighbor cared for them and is probably the reason it is here now.

                          • Primary use:
                          • Personal

                          (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Try Again

                          By 

                          from Southwest Michigan

                          About Me Avid Gardener

                          See all my reviews

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Accurate Instructions
                          • Attractive
                          • Hard To Kill
                          • Healthy
                          • Lightweight
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Garden
                            • Outdoors
                            • Patio

                            Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                            I did manage to kill this one through total neglect, but it went down fighting! I cannot believe how long it lasted, left in its shipping pot, virtually unwatered (I had set the pot in the garden and forgotten it). Too bad - it was a nice, full plant with a lovely form when I received it. Will order again. I gave it only four stars because I don't know if it would have been hardy here if it had lived until winter.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal

                            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            3.0

                            Great When they Grow

                            By 

                            from Santa Fe, NM

                            About Me Avid Gardener

                            See all my reviews

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attractive

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Garden

                              Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                              I had one of these plants about 5 years ago. It lived for 2 years and never grew to be much higher than a foot. So I decided to get 4 more, to see what I could do with them.. Two of the four made it, and two died, within a month of planting. The two that survived did remarkably well. The one which received only morning sunlight doing the best, and grew to be over 2 foot tall. The other received morning sunlight and some afternoon light. It grew to be about 18" high. Both had a lot of flowers, and were appreciated by hummingbirds.

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal

                              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Bought one as a gift and liked it so much, bought one for m!

                              By 

                              from Oregon

                              About Me Avid Gardener

                              See all my reviews

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Accurate Instructions
                              • Hardy
                              • Healthy

                              Cons

                              • Small In Size

                              Best Uses

                              • Garden
                              • Outdoors

                              Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                              Planted it to cover the 'knees' of my Miscanthus giganticus

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal

                              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Love this special plant

                              By 

                              from Oregon

                              About Me Avid Gardener

                              See all my reviews

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Accurate Instructions
                              • Attractive
                              • Healthy
                              • Interesting
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Garden
                                • Outdoors
                                • Skirt for Miscanthus giganticus

                                Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                Well, it is a plant, so I planted it. :-) Perhaps you need to make your comment section more 'item' specific.

                                I have been ordering from you since 2002 and have not been disappointed. Customer service is excellent! And, your plants are top of the line, especially the xeric!

                                Purchased two Amaryllis plants from you for a cousin in Buellton, CA and they were unbelievably large!!
                                She was amazed and I said, "That's High Country Gardens for you, only the best!!"

                                I first heard of HGC in 2002-2003 when I lived in Denver. And was very appreciative of how seriously you took the aspect of low or no water. Thank you for spotting a niche that will only become more and more important as climate warming progressives!

                                • Primary use:
                                • Personal

                                (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Wish I had more!

                                By 

                                from Santa Fe, NM

                                About Me Avid Gardener

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Accurate Instructions
                                • Attractive
                                • Beautiful Color
                                • Lightweight
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                • Small In Size

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                  The flowers are so intriguingly bird like in shape and are a spectacular shade of red in color. We have many kinds of penstamons but this could be the best, even if a bit small in size foo far. If it gets to be 3-4 feet in height, it will be an amazing specimen. We live in Santa Fe and so far we have not seen it in anyone's garden. Let me know if anyone has it here. This is the first year so not sure how it will winter over. Does it readily spread from seed or other means of propagation?

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Personal

                                  (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Spring Follow-up

                                  By 

                                  from Silver City, NM

                                  About Me Avid Gardener

                                  Verified Reviewer

                                  Pros

                                  • Accurate Instructions
                                  • Attractive
                                  • Hardy
                                  • Healthy
                                  • Versatile

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Garden
                                    • Outdoors
                                    • Patio

                                    Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                    This is a follow-up to my comments last summer. My plant is in a pot on the patio at 6000 in SW New Mexico. It gets full sun in the summer. I watered it about once a week if there was no rain. The reviewer in Oregon might have kept the plant too wet. My plant bloomed until frost. After the branches died back I pruned it close to the soil. I was pleased that it came through the winter in the pot on the patio and is now about 8 inches high with lush green growth. Our winters get down to about 20 degrees at night. We did have some snow and I watered a few times in between. I plan to buy more. It's a great plant.

                                    • Primary use:
                                    • Personal

                                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    3.0

                                    A Disappointment

                                    By 

                                    from Albany, Oregon

                                    About Me Master Gardener

                                    Pros

                                      Cons

                                      • Flimsy
                                      • Small In Size

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Garden

                                      Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                      Sadly, this plant did not survive my attempts at growing it. It might have been our exceptionally hot summer but because I read that they like heat, I figured it would do okay. It's possible that I killed it with kindness by pampering it a bit too much. I would like to make another attempt at growing it but would prefer to start with a plant that is larger and more established. I would recommend it, but with that caveat.

                                      • Primary use:
                                      • Personal

                                      (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Absolutely loved it,had more humming birds than ever .

                                      By 

                                      from LA JUNTA, CO.

                                      About Me Getting Started

                                      Pros

                                      • Attractive
                                      • Hardy
                                      • Healthy

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Garden
                                        • Outdoors

                                        Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                        We planted right next to our patio, we love humming birds,we was told by high country gardens that this plant was a good atractor,for humming birds, boy let me tell you what, we had more humming birds than ever, been wanting to take out some of my other plants to put in more red birds in a tree, but my old lady will kill me.

                                        • Primary use:
                                        • Personal

                                        (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Delightful. I'm hoping to get more.

                                        By 

                                        from New England

                                        About Me Avid Gardener

                                        Pros

                                        • Accurate Instructions
                                        • Attractive
                                        • Lightweight

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Outdoors

                                          Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                          Need to plant more to help it show up more.

                                          • Primary use:
                                          • Personal

                                          (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          Great plant!

                                          By 

                                          from Silver City, NM

                                          About Me Avid Gardener

                                          Verified Reviewer

                                          Pros

                                          • Accurate Instructions
                                          • Attractive
                                          • Healthy

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                              Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                              This is a great plant, and I say that having grown xeric plants from High Country Gardens for years! I discovered it at a nursery in my new home town of Silver City, NM this spring. I planted it in a pot on my north patio at 6000 ft. It has bloomed continuously all summer and as of mid-September shows no signs of quitting. I water it every 1-4 days, depending on how hot it is, but it has gone longer. I've given it light liquid plant food a couple of times. The hummingbirds love it!! --- even more than the adjacent salvias. I don't know yet if it will winter over in the pot outside. My patio is probably zone 6-7.

                                              • Primary use:
                                              • Personal

                                              (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                                               
                                              5.0

                                              Wonderful little cardinal plant!!!!

                                              By 

                                              from Lampasas, TEXAS!

                                              About Me Master Gardener

                                              Verified Reviewer

                                              Pros

                                              • Attractive
                                              • Hardy

                                              Cons

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Garden
                                                • Outdoors

                                                Comments about High Country Gardens Scrophularia macrantha:

                                                7 years ago, I bought this plant on a whim, fascinated with the name. It was better than the description, having little red flowers that resemble red cardinals with yellow beaks. What a great plant!! I grew it in New Mexico, just north of Rowe, NM. Now, I'm trying it 'deep in the heart of Texas'. I have confidence that it will be just fine...... stay posted.

                                                • Primary use:
                                                • Personal

                                                Displaying reviews 1-23

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                                                Q & A

                                                Suggested Companion Plants:

                                                USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

                                                To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

                                                • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
                                                • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

                                                Find Your Planting Zone:

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