Red Ixora
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Red Ixora
ative Photo: Joseph Thomas
Common name: Ixora, Jungle geranium • Hindi: Rugmini रुग्मिनी • Tamil: Vedchi • Bengali: Rangan • Malayalam: Chethi • Manipuri: ꯍꯥꯃꯩꯕꯣꯟ Hameibon • Mizo: Mualhawihte
Botanical name: Ixora coccinea    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)

Ixora is native to Asia and its name derives from the word 'Isvara' or Ishwara, a name variously meaning God, Supreme Being, Supreme Soul, lord, in India. It is a branched shrub, up to 1 m tall; branches hairless. Leaves are mostly stalkless, opposite deccussate, 4-8 x 1.5-6.5 cm, entire, apiculate, blunt or with a short sharp point, 8-15 pairs at lateral nerves, hairless; stipules triangular, cuspidate or awned. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, in dense corymb-like cymes, flower-cluster-stalk very short or absent; bracts about 8 mm long. Flowers are stalkless, bright scarlet, hypanthium 1-1.5 mm long, becoming hairless, teeth, about 0.5 mm long. Flower-tube is prominently long, 2.5-4.0 cm long, 1.5 mm wide, hairless, petals 8-10 x 4-5 mm, twisted in bud, throat hairless. Stamens are 4, inserted on the throat of flower-tube, filaments very short. Style protruding; stigma 1.5 mm long. Fruit is spherical, red when ripe, crowned with the sepal-cup teeth. It is a very common garden plant.
Medicinal uses: Roots are stomachic, sedative, astringent, febrifuse and acrid. Leaf extract is given in dysentery. Bark powder is applied to sores, burns and injuries. Flower are sweet, carminative, digestive and constipating. Flower extract is used as an eye lotion.

Identification credit: Joseph Thomas, Rita Singh Photographed in cultivation.

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