Common name: Crossandra, Firecracker Flower • Tamil: கனகாம்பரம் Kanakambaram • Marathi: Aboli आबोली • Konkani: Abuli आबुली
Botanical name: Crossandra infundibuliformis Family: Acanthaceae (Barleria family)
In South India, Kanakambaram is the favourite flowers of ladies to put in
their hair. It competes strongly with jasmine to adorn the south-Indian
The crossandra is in the family with Mexican petunias, or ruellias, and the
Mississippi Medallion award-winning yellow shrimp plant.
This tropical from India and Sri Lanka offers a welcome orange, salmon or
yellow to the filtered-light area. In addition to
the flowers that are practically non-stop for the entire season, the foliage
also offers added interest. The leaves are glossy and most striking.
Choose a site with well-drained, fertile soil with perhaps a little morning
sun. If you have tight, heavy clay soil, the crossandra will reward you for
incorporating 3 to 4 inches of organic matter. As the plant grows, keep it
deadheaded and pinched back; it will maintain a bushy shape and keep blooming
with each new flush of growth.
|Photographed in Kannur, Kerala. |