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Useful Tropical Plants

Woodfordia fruticosa

(L.) Kurz

Lythraceae

+ Synonyms

Grislea punctata Buch.-Ham. ex Sm.

Grislea tomentosa Roxb.

Lythrum fruticosum L.

Lythrum hunteri DC.

Woodfordia floribunda Salisb.

Woodfordia tomentosa Bedd.

Common Name:

Woodfordia fruticosa
Close-up of the flowers
Photograph by: Kai Yan, Joseph Wong
Creative Commons License
Woodfordia fruticosa Woodfordia fruticosa Woodfordia fruticosa Woodfordia fruticosa

General Information

Woodfordia fruticosa is a large shrub growing up to 5 metres tall with long, spreading branches[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
A valuable multipurpose plant, it has been exploited commercially as a source of tannins and dyes. It is also an excellent pioneer species, is used medicinally and has minor food uses. The flowers are traded in local markets for use in traditional medicines and the plant is also often cultivated in gardens[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

East Africa - Tanzania, Madagascar; E. Asia - Indian subcontinent, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia.

Habitat

Open, sunny places, often on disturbed soils and on old agricultural land. Open waste land and degraded places[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height5.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plants are frost tolerant.
Requires a sunny position. Succeeds in any well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants are very wind tolerant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant coppices well; coppice-shoots five years old averaged 3 metres in height.

Edible Uses

The flowers are eaten as food and used in the preparation of a cooling drink[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
]. (This report was a little unclear, and might have referred to the leaves[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].)

Medicinal

The flowers are astringent[
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
]. They are used in the treatment of dysentery, traditionally being beaten up with honey into a kind of confection[615. They are also thought to be of use in treating menorrhagia[
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
]
The flowers are used externally as an astringent[
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This is a common gregarious shrub which springs up naturally on landslips, abandoned cultivation, and other open places, killing out grass, binding the soil together and acting as a useful soil-improver and a most efficient nurse to tree species, including sal, which come up freely under its protective cover. It is unable to regenerate by seed in shady places so, as the trees grow larger this species gradually dies out.
It is not eaten by cattle, and is frost-hardy, and thus appears often in extensive pure masses on open ground subject to grazing.

Other Uses

A gum is obtained from the plant. It is similar to gum tragacanth[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
].

The flowers contain about 20% tannins[
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
]. They are harvested when open and then dried for later use. When being used for their tannins, the leaves are employed more commonly than the flowers, simply because they are available in greater quantity[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
].
A dye is obtained from the flowers[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
615
Title
Pharmacographia Indica
Publication
 
Author
Dymock W.; Warden C.J.H.; Hooper D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Education Society's Press, Byculla; Mombai.
Year
1890
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the principal plant medicines encountered in India in the 19th century.
]. It can be used on its own or combined with other dyes where they also act as a mordant[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
]. They are most commonly combined with Morinda citrifolia[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
].

The wood is used for fuel[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
].

Propagation

The seed is minute - the plant self-sows freely in open, well-drained ground but can be more difficult in a nursery situation. The most successful way in which to grow the plant artificially is to sow the seeds in broken bricks; on ordinary seed-beds it is very difficult to obtain germination and to raise seedlings. If sowing the seed in a nursery bed, the soil should be light and very well-drained and the position should be fairly sunny. Scatter the seed over the surface and just lightly push it into the soil - do not cover it. Water the seed gently, being careful not to wash it away, and water once or twice a day if the soil looks like it is drying out[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Softwood cuttings[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. They are said to be easy[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
].
Hardwood cuttings[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. They are said to be easy[
439
Title
The Commercial Products of India.
Publication
 
Author
Watts. Sir George.
Publisher
John Murray, London.
Year
1908
ISBN
 
Description
A classic, with a comprehensive (as then known) listing of useful plants that were traded commercially at that time. It can be downloaded from various sites on the Internet.
].

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