Thursday, 10 April 2014

IXORA - 'PRINCE OF ORANGE'

Ixora is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. It consists of tropical evergreen trees and shrubs and holds around 500 species. Though native to the tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world, its centre of diversity is in Tropical Asia. Ixora also grows commonly in subtropical climates in the United States, such as Florida. It is commonly known as West Indian Jasmine. Other common names include: rangan, kheme, ponna, chann tanea, techi, pan, santan, jarum-jarum, Jungle flame, Jungle geranium, and many more.

The plants possess leathery leaves, ranging from 3 to 6 inches in length, and produce large clusters of tiny flowers in the summer. Members of Ixora prefer acidic soil, and are suitable choices for bonsai. It is also a popular choice for hedges in parts of South East Asia, like in Thailand. In tropical climates they flower year round.

The variety illustrated here is Ixora chinensis 'Prince of Orange'. It is an evergreen shrub with erect, densely packed branches and long pointed, yellow to green foliage and rounded heads of tubular, opening to star shaped, bright orange to scarlet flowers from spring to autumn. This is a beautiful plant, showy and elegant all in one. It is frost tender and likes humidity so can do well in a glasshouse. It should be grown in well-drained but moist, humus-rich soils with plenty of mulch. Scale insects can be a problem, but respond to treatment. Remove dead flowerheads, water well in hot conditions. The roots are used in Asian medicine to relieve some stomach problems.


This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




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