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  Crossandra infundibuliformis (L.) Nees
  Family Name : Acanthaceae

  Synonyms : Justicia infundibuliformis, Crossandra undulaefolia

  Common Names : Firecracker Flower, Firecracker Plant, Crossandra

  Chinese Name : 半边黄, 鸟尾花

Firecracker Flower,Firecracker Plant,Crossandra
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Herbaceous)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Maximum Height :
      0.3 m to 1 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      India, Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand
      Native Habitat :
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is an erect, evergreen, low shrub of up to 1 m tall. 
      Foliage: Leaves are narrowly ovate to lanceolate (8 - 13 cm long). They droop slightly and occur in whorls of 3 - 4. 
      Flowers: Flowers are salverform; each flower has a thin tube (2.5 cm long) with 5 lobes (2 - 4 cm wide) that are perpendicular to the tube. The throat may be red or yellow. They are arranged in terminal inflorescences. Below the flowers, green, leaf-like bracts are arranged like a head of wheat. The bracts are covered in soft, white hairs. Flowering occurs throughout the year. 
      Fruits: Fruits are ellipsoid to oblong (1 cm long) and each contains 4 round seeds. They are classifed as capsules. Capsules are dry, dehiscent fruits. 
      Habitat :
      It occurs in the foothills at altitudes of up to 1300 m. 
      Cultivation :
      Plant in fertile soil enriched with organic matter and having good drainage. It is sensitive to overwatering and waterlogged sites. Allow the soil to dry before re-watering. Prune the plants to keep their height low, or the plants will develop a sprawling habit. Remove the brown seed pods and fertilize regularly to promote continuous flowering and healthy green leaves. It is susceptible to scale insects and spider mites. Indoor plants should be fed biweekly with a half-diluted general fertilizer. 
      Etymology :
      The genus name "Crossandra" is derived from 2 Greek words, "krossos" meaning fringe and "andros" meaning male. The reference is to the fringe of hairs on the male stamens in many species of this genus.
      The specific epithet "infundibuliformis" means trumpet-shaped, or funnel-shaped which refers to the flower shape.
      The common name "Firecracker Plant" refers to how mature capsules will explosively dehisce when touched with a moist finger.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Cultural / Religious (The plant is planted around temples for decoration.)
      [Others]: In India and Sri Lanka, the flowers are combined with jasmine flowers to adorn women hair.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      This species makes a colourful ground cover, low hedge or bedding plant. The flowers will add bright colour to partially shady areas. It also has an interesting contrast in texture. The flowers have a soft appearance, while the glossy leaves seem hard in comparison. Consider planting this species next to ferns, impatiens or caladiums. 
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna)
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Plant Growth Rate :
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Diseases :
      Scale insects, spider mites
      Pest(s) :
      Associated with
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate; Lanceolate)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Foliar Base :
      Rounded / Obtuse
      Typical Foliar Area :
      Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower Colour(s) :
      Flower Symmetry :
      Individual Flower Shape :
      Flower Size :
      Remarks (4 - 4.5 cm)
      Flowering Period :
      Flowering Habit :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Dehiscent Dry Fruit (Capsule)
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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