Ixora Plant, Barbados Pocket Guide


The Ixora plant (Ixora coccinea) is a common flowering plant with small, bushy shrubs that feature large clusters of a variety of colours which manifest themselves as elegant puffballs amongst evergreen leaves. This plant can be seen on the island of Barbados in gardens blooming all year round. It is said that there is an estimated 400 species of Ixora currently in existence with plants occurring in two main types - the large plant which carries a height of approximately 1 meter and the dwarf  type with its characteristic bushy appearance and small leaves.


When cut, Ixora flowers last well in water thus making them a delightful sight on the table of any home in Barbados and in the garden of any home on the island.


Care of the Ixora Plant

The Ixora plant does quite well in partial shade when you are in a warm environment but you will find that when you give it full sun, it will grow dense, compact and with more flowers.


This sun-loving plant thrives best in warm, humid conditions with well-drained organic soil conditions. Cow dung is no stranger to Barbados and a mere 2tsp of this matter can be added to the soil once every couple of months to enable excellent thriving conditions for the Ixora plant. The Ixora plant prefers acidic soil.


The Ixora plant has only moderate salt tolerance and no cold tolerance so planting in line with ocean breezes is not recommended.


The Ixora plant is susceptible to aphids, scale insects and mealy bugs. The plant should be washed with insecticidal soap inorder to control the spread of such pests.


Avoid planting the Ixora plant close to concrete as concrete contains alkaline soil conditions that are not at all favourable for the Ixora plant.


Health Benefits of the Ixora Plant

Wound healing - Alcoholic extract of the Ixora plant showed increase in granuloma tissue weight, tensile strength and glycosaminoglycan content. The prohealing activity was attributed to increased collagen deposition, alignment and maturation. The juice of the flower is useful in dysentery and also used on sores, chronic ulcers and scabies
Antimicrobial - Extract studies of EC for antimicrobial activity showed the ethyl fraction to be more active than the methanol fraction
Antioxidant - Phytochemical screening showed the flower extract to possess flavonoids, steroids, tannin. Ixora showed strong reducing power and total antioxidant capacity
Pharmacologic evaluation / Electroconvulsive Protective - Evaluation showed that Ixora has protective property against electroconvulsions, antiinflammatory and hemostatic properties
Hepatoprotective - Extract of Ixora flowers showed significant hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol overdose-induced hepatotoxicity in rats
Chemoprotective - Ixora flower fraction showed chemoprotective effects on cyclophosphamide-induced toxicity in mice
Antinociceptive - Study showed the aqueous leaf extract of IC possesses considerable antinociceptive activity mediated centrally via a dopaminergic mechanism. In addition, the antioxidant activity may play a role in inducing antinociception. The dopaminergic and antioxidative activities may arise from alkaloid and flavonoid constituents, respectively
Anti-Inflammatory / Anti-mitotic - Lupeol, isolated from the leaves of IC, was shown to have anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan induced paw edema in rats. Anti-mitotic activity was also noted in a preliminary cytotoxic study
Cytotoxic / Antitumor - Study of the active fraction of Ixora coccinea flowers showed greater activity on ascitic tumors than solid tumors. It had no toxicity to normal lymphocytes but was toxic to lymphocytes from leukemic patients
Anti-Inflammatory - Study of the aqueous leaf extract of Ixora coccinea showed strong antihistamine and antioxidant activity that can account for its anti-inflammatory potential. In addition, the inhibitionn of prostaglandins and bradykinins may play a role in its antiinflammatory effect
Anti-Ulcer - Study of the fresh leaf extract of Ixora coccinea was found to possess potent anti-ulcerogenic property and could be a potential therapeutic agent against ulcer disease

The Ixora plant is a rather versatile plant and can easily be cultivated in pots while the larger ones can readily take their places on the outside to adorn any garden on the island of Barbados.


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