My name is Ixora. She picked me up at the nursery, firmly resolved to carry me away. Great, I said to myself! I hope she takes good care of me, and I will quickly become acclimatized where I will next be living in our verdant Mauritius.
I looked around my new surroundings with enthusiasm and delight as I arrived home. Her garden was so spotless it produced an incredible light and shade effect. These conditions quite suited my taste. There was indeed a beautiful area which had been cleared, the soil ploughed and nourished with manure. She delicately opened the packaging I was wrapped in and placed me in a shallow hole. She carefully gathered some soil around my small roots, and sprayed me with just enough water.
And so began my beautiful life in a very healthy space. I grew up really well and after what seemed to be an eternity (but in reality was just a few months), I reached maturity. I wanted to reward the one who devotedly cared for me everyday, I therefore started a new stage of life: Flowering.
I am in fact a lively and long-lasting blooming decorative scrub. I provide joy and happiness to all those who stop by her garden and cast a glance at me. They call me ‘Flame of the Woods’, ‘Torch tree’ or ‘Japanese Hortensia’. My family is composed of some 400 species. I, being an Ixora coccinea, am used in traditional medicine, my leaves having therapeutic benefits. My roots are especially used to cure diarrhea and fever. My various elements are used in the Asian and Indian pharmacopoeia to clean wounds, treat eczema and abscesses.
Little multi-colored butterflies often flutter around me. Sometimes, dark red cardinal birds lean gently on my bulging corymbs. Intrigued, I like to watch them. They enjoy throwing my small fragrant, tubular flowers to the ground.
But no matter, these birds and insects living freely in nature most certainly take great pleasure in doing so. I welcome them with affection and respect. Respectful is the adjective which most appropriately describes the Lady who approaches me to carefully pick some of my flowers to make a colorful bouquet which often pleasantly surprises her guests.
I will continue to sprout, much to her delight. She will make cuttings from my thick branches, to propagate me. My seeds will grow from small Ixoras which she will happily distribute to those who love me for what I am. They will then ask her what my vernacular name is to which she will proudly answer: Ixora
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