Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz

Fire Flame Bush, Red Bell Bush


Family: Lythraceae

Genus: Woodfordia

Category: Shrub - Deciduous

Description: 

Spreading leafy shrub. Flowers in India from December to May, (UK May and June). Orange-red tubular bell-shaped flowers along the stems. gray, peeling bark. Leaves are narrow and pointed, opposite or whorled, dark green above, paler below. Found on dry, rocky hillsides.

Red dye for silk is obtained from the flowers.

History: 

Native to Tanzania, Madagascar, China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Published in J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 40(1): 56 in 1871.

Basionym is Lythrum fruticosum L.

Synonym is Grislea tomentosa Roxb.

Synonym is Woodfordia floribunda Salisb.

This beautiful shrub was considered by Linnaeus as a species of Lythrum, to which genus it is certainly allied. Dryander, in Roxburgh's Coromandel Plants, made it a species of Grislea, in which he has been followed in the Hortus Kewensis. Mr. Salisbury, in the Paradisus Londinensis, has thought proper to raise it to the rank of a genus, to which he gave the name of Woodfordia, in honour of Emp. John Alexander Woodford, Esq. who was formerly a great cultivator of rare plants at Vauxhall, and to whom our gardens are still indebted for several beautiful acquisitions from the Brazils. Native of China and of the East-Indies; growing in the hilly country in the northern provinces. Propagated by cuttings. Requires to be kept in the stove. Introduced in 1804, by Mr. William Salisbury, of the Botanic Garden, in SIoane-Street. Flowers in May and June. (Bot. Mag. 44: 1906 in 1816)


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner