Ixora coccinea: Jungle flame

Family: Rubiaceae
Common name: Jungle geranium, Flame of the woods, Jungle flame

Ixora plants can give you a true sense of the term – ‘blooming profusely through the year’. A native of Southern India, Srilanka and Bangladesh; this plant is now grown in gardens all over the world. Ixora plants can grow to a height of 1-2 meters, sometimes as high as 3 meters. The leaves are glossy, leathery with pronounced veins, and varies in size depending on the species.

Flowers are always borne in clusters, each bunch having as many as 50-60 flowers. Flowers are long and tubular with 4 distinct petals, and 4 yellow stamens in between the petals. There are over 400 species of Ixora, but the most commonly grown ones are Ixora Coccinea, Ixora Pavetta, Ixora Macrothyrsa, Ixora Javanica, and Ixora Chinensis. It comes in a wide variety of colors for the flowers – red, yellow, orange, pink, white and magenta.

Dwarf varieties of Ixora are also available, though they are are tougher to grow and maintain, compared to the normal Ixora varieties. The plants produce a berry that’s initially green, and then turns red or purple with 1-2 seeds inside. The plant needs good sunlight and water to keep blooming. It can be pruned in desired shapes, even grown as hedges or separators in your garden.

Once established, the Ixora plants grow well without too much maintenance. The leaves and flowers have some medicinal uses in treatment of fever, headache, stomach ailments, dysentery and tuberculosis. The wood of Ixora is also used for making small implements.

Propagation is from seeds, and also from stem cuttings, with reasonable success rates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *