Fire Flame Bush
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Fire Flame Bush
ative lanceshaped Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Fire Flame Bush, Red Bell Bush • Hindi: Dhawai • Marathi: Dowari • Tamil: Velakkai • Malayalam: Tatiripuspi • Telugu: Jargi seringi, Godari • Kannada: ಆರೆ Aare,ತಾಮ್ರಪುಷ್ಪಿ Taamrapushpi • Oriya: Dhobo • Konkani: Dhauri • Urdu: Jetiko • Gujarati: Dhawani • Sanskrit: पार्वती Parvati, बहुपुष्पिका Bahupuspika, सिन्दूरी Sindooree ताम्रपुष्पी Tamrapushpie • Nepali: धयँरो Dhayanro, अमर फूल Amar Phool, कलिङ्ग Kalingg • Mizo: Ai-nawn
Botanical name: Woodfordia fruticosa    Family: Lythraceae (Crape Myrtle family)
Synonyms: Woodfordia floribunda

Fire Flame Bush is a spreading, deciduous shrub, small in size but very conspicuous on dry, rocky hillsides. It is up to 3 m tall with spreading stems. Leaves nearly stalkless, 4-11 x 2-4 cm, ovate-lanceshaped or lanceshaped, subleathery, whitish velvety woolly and finely orangish- or black-dotted beneath. Flowers are crimson, slightly zygomorphic, in 2-16-flowered in leaf-axils cymes; flower-stalks to 1 cm long. Calyx tube 1-1.5 cm long, tubular; sepals 6, short, more or less triangular, alternating with small callous appendages. Petals are 6, red, 3-4 mm long, lanceshaped-tapering. Stamens are 12, inserted near the bottom of the calyx tube, 0.5-1.5 cm long, prominently protruding out. Ovary is 4-6 mm long, oblong, 2-celled; ovules many; style 0.7-1.5 cm long. Capsules are 0.6-1 x 0.25-0.4 cm, ellipsoid, included in the calyx. Seeds numerous, trigonous-ovoid. Fire Flame Bush is found in Sri Lanka, South Konkan and on the Ghats and ascends the Himalayas up to 200-1800 m, but is rarer in South India.
Medicinal uses: This is a drug largely used in native medicine. This enters into the composition of many preparations, decoctions, churnas and ghritas for various diseases, but chiefly dysentery and diarrhoea by reason of its being highly astringent.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mussoorie.

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