December flower is botanically called Barleria cristata. Its common names include Philippine violet, bluebell barleria, or crested Philippine violet.
It is native to a wide area ranging from Southern China to India and Myanmar.
The December flower plant grows to a height of 60-100cm. The flowers come in white, pink, and purple colors. It flowers profusely between September to December. So it is commonly known as the December flower in South India. These flowers are generally woven into a garland and adorned as a hair accessory.
Tips for growing December flower plants:
- December flower plants can be propagated using seeds, cuttings, or the division method. Propagation through cuttings is fat and easy.
- This plant prefers sunny or partially shady locations to grow.
- This plant thrives in loamy soil with rich organic matter and has good water-draining capacity.
- Prune the December flower plant in spring to the ground to keep the plant healthy and bushy.
- Addition of well-balanced fertilizer results in more blooms and healthy plant growth.
Uses of December flower plant:
- The Thai people use this plant as traditional herbal medicine.
- This plant has blood-purifying and diuretic properties.
- The whole plant of the December flower is traditionally used as medicine for inflammation, wounds, burns, gingivitis, nocturnal ejaculation, and diabetes.
- It is also recommended for cough, skin infections, anemia, and tuberculosis.
- Leaves are extensively used to reduce inflammations and chewed for toothache relief.
- The plant juice is used for fever and phlegm, and the paste is applied on feet in the rainy season to prevent cracking.
- Root decoction is utilized in anemia and cough treatment.
- The root infusion is applied to boils and sores to diminish swellings. It is also used to relieve toothache.
- The bitter juice of stem bark is used as a diaphoretic and expectorant. The dried bark is used to treat whooping cough.
- The root and seeds are used to treat snake bites and scorpion stings.
Dr. Vandana K.