Combretum indicum: Chinese honeysuckle

Family: Combretaceae
Common name: Rangoon creeper, Chinese honeysuckle

Rangoon creeper is the plant you want climbing on arches, trellis or other structures in your garden. They will produce bunches of white, pink and magenta flowers; hanging in clusters from the structure, filling your garden with color and fragrance. As the name suggests, the plant is a creeper that can grow to a height of up to 8 meters in ideal growing conditions.

The flowers are tubular and changes color as the flowers mature; white when they open at dusk, pink the second day and magenta-red the third day. This is a trick to attract pollinating birds and insects. The flowers also goes from erect to drooping as they mature. It’s not good to grow Rangoon creepers without any support, as the flowers will lose their beauty on the ground. They also produce seeds that are 2-3 cms long, with 5 wings.

These plants bloom mainly in spring and summer, though you can see some flowers throughout the year. It’s good to prune the plants to prevent it from becoming unruly. Rangoon creepers are found in the wild in many countries, but they have very effectively been converted into garden plants.

Rangoon creeper plants have medicinal uses in traditional and herbal medicine. Decoctions made from fruits, seeds and roots are used to expel stomach worms and also in alleviating diarrhea. Fruits are used in treatment of kidney ailments, and leaves in relieving pain.

Propagation is from seeds and stem cuttings.

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