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Ixora coccinea

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Ixora coccinea (also known as jungle geranium, flame of the woods or jungle flame) is a species of flowering plant in the Rubiaceae family.<ref>Template:Citeweb</ref> It is a common flowering shrub native to Southern India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It has become one of the most popular flowering shrubs in South Florida gardens and landscapes.<ref>Template:Citeweb</ref>Template:Unreliable source? It is the national flower of Suriname.

Description

A pink Ixora coccinea in India

I. coccinea is a dense, multi-branched evergreen shrub, commonly Template:Convert in height, but capable of reaching up to Template:Convert high. It has a rounded form, with a spread that may exceed its height. The glossy, leathery, oblong leaves are about Template:Convert long, with entire margins, and are carried in opposite pairs or whorled on the stems. Small tubular, scarlet flowers in dense rounded clusters Template:Convert across are produced almost all year long.

Cultivation and use

Seeds

Although there are around 500 species in the genus Ixora, only a handful are commonly cultivated, and the common name, Ixora, is usually used for I. coccinea. I. coccinea is used in warm climates for hedges and screens, foundation plantings, massed in flowering beds, or grown as a specimen shrub or small tree. In cooler climes, it is grown in a greenhouse or as a potted house plant requiring bright light. I. coccinea is also grown in containers, looking very distinguished as a patio or poolside plant. This tight, compact shrub is much branched and tolerates hard pruning, making it ideal for formal hedges, although it is at its best when not sheared.

There are numerous named cultivars differing in flower colour (yellow, pink, orange) and plant size. Several popular cultivars are dwarfs, usually staying under Template:Convert in height. Nora Grant is a popular dwarf and Super King is a popular hybrid with much larger flower clusters. Many new cultivars and hybrids of I. coccinea have come to market in the last couple of decades, leading to a resurgence in popularity for the beautiful flame-of-the-woods.

The flowers, leaves, roots, and the stem are used to treat various ailments in the Indian traditional system of medicine, the Ayurveda, and in various folk medicines.Template:Citation needed The fruits, when fully ripe, are used as a dietary source.

Chemicals

Phytochemical studies indicate that the plant contains the phytochemicals lupeol, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, sitosterol, rutin, lecocyanadin, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and glycosides of kaempferol and quercetin.<ref>Baliga MS, Kurian PJ "Ixora coccinea Linn.: traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology", Chin J Integr Med. 2012 Jan;18(1):72-9</ref>

Ixora cultivars

References

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External links

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