By Gary WadeUniversity of GeorgiaPlanting Cuphea in your landscape is like watching nonstopfireworks at a Disney theme park. Three species readily availableand most commonly known as firecracker plant, tiny mice and tallcigar plant all deserve their 2006 Georgia Gold Medal for annualplants. Volume XXXINumber 1Page 17 These dependable, low-maintenance annuals not only tolerate theheat and humidity of the South but have extended bloom periods.They attract butterflies and hummingbirds like magnets. Andthey’re versatile enough for container plantings or in-groundbeds.Firecracker plant (Cupheaignea), ignites in abundant tubular, scarlet-red flowersedged in black at the leaf axils along the stem. About a foottall, it’s a perfect companion plant for containers or windowboxes or for planting in front of taller plants in a perennialborder.A light trimming in midsummer will encourage basal branching,more compact plants and more fireworks until frost. Like theother Cuphea species, firecracker plant does best in full sun andmoist, well-drained soils.Tiny mice (Cuphea llavea)is also known as Mickey Mouse plant and Georgia Scarlet.It was first released as Georgia Scarlet from the University ofGeorgia’s breeding program. The nursery trade gave it the othernames because its flowers resemble the face of a mouse, with twored petals tinged in purple.Children marvel at the hundreds of tiny mouse faces on shortspikes along the stems. Hummingbirds and butterflies visit theplant in abundance, too, to collect nectar from the flowers.Cuphea llavea grows up to 2 feet tall. It branches freely to forma bushy, compact plant for containers or ground beds. Summercuttings root readily for sharing with neighbors and friends.Tall cigar plant (Cupheamicropetala) is a great background plant for perennialborders, reaching 3 to 5 feet tall. Its 2-inch-long, cigar-shapedblooms are reddish at the base, yellow in the middle and green atthe top.The flowers emerge in the upper axils by mid to late summer,tubular and keep coming until frost. By fall, the plant appearsto have caught fire.If you cut tall cigar plants back and mulch them, they cansurvive mild winters down to 20 degrees.Watching these three terrific Cuphea plants perform in thelandscape will make it clear why they’re 2006 Georgia Gold Medalwinners.(Gary Wade is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)
AN UNBEATEN 84-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Adam Ball and wicketkeeper Adam Rouse sealed a four-wicket win for Kent Spitfires on Tuesday night, after Calum Haggett (4-59) and Imran Qayyum (3-42) had restricted Windward Islands Volcanoes to 241 for 9.Having been put in to bat, Windward Islands Volcanoes were struggling at 91 for 5, with Haggett and Qayyum having taken four of the five wickets at this stage.Sunil Ambris’ 69-ball 50 – his third fifty-plus score in four matches – pushed the score to 241 with help from the lower order, particularly Windwards captain Liam Sebastien (32), seamer Kyle Mayers (37 not out) and Darren Sammy (23).Kent captain Sam Northeast’s 49 and his 60-run partnership for the second wicket with opener Sean Dickson (36) stabilised Kent quickly after the fall of Daniel Bell-Drummond.Volcanoes staged a fightback in the middle overs, claiming three wickets for 18 runs at one stage but Ball and Rouse squashed the opposition’s chances with a rapid partnership that came off 74 balls. Ball was unbeaten on 40 off 46, while Rouse scored 36 off 37 as Kent reached the target with 23 balls to spare.WINDWARD ISLANDS VOLCANOEST. Theophile c Thomas b Qayyum 17J. Charles c & b Haggett 17D. Smith c wkp. Rouse b Haggett 0A. Fletcher c Blake b Gidman 33S. Ambris c Ball b Qayyum 50K. Hodge c wkp. Rouse b Qayyum 7L. Sebastien c Qayyum b Stevens 32D. Sammy c Ball b Haggett 23K. Mayers not out 37S. Shillingford c Bell-Drummond b Haggett 6D. Johnson not out 6Extras: (b-4, lb-1, w-7, nb-1) 13Total: (9 wkts, 50 overs) 241Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-28, 3-64, 4-75, 5-91, 6-159, 7-180, 8-194, 9-230.Bowling: Thomas 10-1-48-0 (w-4), Haggett 10-2-59-4 (nb-1), Stevens 10-0-52-1 (w-3), Gidman 10-1-35-1, Qayyum 10-1-42-3.KENT SPITFIRESD. Bell-Drummond lbw b Johnson 7S. Dickson b Mayers 36S. Northeast lbw b Shillingford 49D. Stevens c D Sammy b Hodge 21W. Gidman b Hodge 19A. Blake b Shillingford 8A. Ball not out 40A. Rouse not out 36Extras: (b-4, lb-4, w-13, pen. 5) 26Total: (6 wkts, 46.1 overs) 242Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-74, 3-113, 4-140, 5-151, 6-158.Bowling: Hodge 10-0-41-2 (w-1), Johnson 6.1-0-33-1 (w-1), Mayers 9-1-51-2 (w-2), Sammy 3-0-18-0 (w-1), Sebastien 8-049-0 (w-3), Shillingford 10-0-36-2 (w-5).Points: Kent 4, Volcanoes 0.
Wayne Rooney and Man United both ended their barren streak as the England captain scored the only goal in United’s 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford – a result that has also seen them go top of Group B.Meanwhile, City secured qualification for the knock-out stages with two games to spare after a convincing 3-1 win in Sevilla.+