Flame of the Woods


Butterfly Garden

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Flame of the Woods

Ixora coccinea

  • ​Common name: Flame of the Woods, jungle flame, jungle geranium
  • Scientific name: Ixora coccinea
  • Family name: Rubiaceae
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Height: 4 to 6 ft
  • Width: 3 to 5 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: USDA Zones 10 through 11
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade.
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers a well-drained, organically rich, and loamy soil with an acidic pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
  • Moisture: Moderate water needs. Tolerant of humid conditions.
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: Aphids and scale insects are regular pests on this plant. Soil that is too alkaline may cause chlorosis, causing foliage discoloration.
  • Growing conditions: This plant should be grown in a warm, sunny area. It can grow in part shade but may not produce as many flowers as it would in full sun. This plant is moderately drought tolerant, able to handle short periods of drought, but the soil should remain moist to ensure that it is in good health. This plant is not tolerant of frost and should be moved indoors if the outdoor temperature is below freezing. It takes well to pruning and shearing but may produce less flowers.
  • Characteristics: This plant forms a compact hedge, although the size and shape depend on how it is pruned. It has several large, woody stems from which many smaller, flexible stems branch out from. The leaves grow in a whorled arrangement and are 2 to 4 inches long, glossy, green, and ovate. Flowers grow in large, spherical clusters at the ends of the stems. These flowers have four pointed petals, and range in color depending on the cultivar; some plants may have buttery yellow flowers, others coral orange, and others may be soft pink. The fruits are small, red berries.
  • Propagation: By cuttings.
  • Wildlife: The flowers are attractive to butterflies. Small animals may eat the fruit.
  • Facts: The ripe fruits are edible, but mostly tasteless, and are used in traditional Indian medicine.
  • Designer considerations: Its tolerance for heavy pruning means it has a wide range of uses. It is commonly planted along sidewalks where its numerous flowers make it more colorful than a traditional hedge. It can also be a screening plant if allowed to grow tall, or a small border plant if pruned low. It is also a good container plant for a poolside or patio and can even be grown indoors with proper maintenance.