01 September 2013

VIBGYOR Series - 'V' for 'Violet' - December flower

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club's CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some
 of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to 
the 7th of September. The colour theme for today's post is VIOLET

As soon as I came to know about CBC's VIBGYOR week( #CBCVIBGYORBLOGTAG ), I have just got into it without having a second thought since basically I love colors and posting about them seemed so interesting. And today I'm gonna start it with one of my favorite color Violet

The meaning of Violet color is often related to spirituality, royalty, good judgement and it is also said to be used in meditation.

I'm sharing about a flower which is in color of VIOLET. The plant name is Barleria cristata and it belongs to the Acanthaceae family which is commonly known as December flower. This plant is native to India, Southeast Asia, Southern China and Myanmar. It comes under the category of perennial shrub and it is well adapted to colder climates. The stem of this plant is said to be robust enough to withstand until they are frost and they can even flourish in poor soil conditions. It is considered to be a widely cultivated ornamental hedge plant.

Nomenclature :

Botanical Name - Barleria cristata

Common Name - Bluebell barleria / Philippine violet / Crested Philippine violet

Tamil Name      - Semmulli (செம்முள்ளி) / December poo(டிசம்பர்  பூ)

Hindi Name       - Vajra danti

This shrub ranges from 60 - 100 cm of height and the flowers are said to be 5 cm long. It is said tht some thorns arise at the axil of leaves. The flowers are available in variety of colors such as Violet, white, mauve and pink.

These flowers are also called as December flowers since they start blossoming in the month of December and they are found in abundance in the months of January and February. It is said to be propagated through cuttings and it adapts to more or less sunlight for growth.  Flowers are generally trumpet or funnel-shaped. This shrub needs pruning at regular intervals. As I have came across some sites some have mentioned that this shrub is invasive, but a researcher has said that it was a wrong perception. According to researchers they have said that it is pest resistant above the ground level and the root has to be protected properly from root-knot nematodes especially on sandy soils. Some have also mentioned it as a weed. They have suggested that before planting it must be layered with mulch and some organic matters. Some say that this plant welcomes humming birds.

Images Source : Internet

Medicinal values of Crested Philippine violet :

(The following uses includes folklore and as well as scientific facts)

                         ~* Leaves and roots of this plant are used to treat cough, bronchitis and pneumonia.

                         ~* The roots and leaves are also used to reduce swellings.
                         ~* Seeds of this plant is said to be used as an antidote for snake bites.

                         ~* It is said to be used for toothaches and anemia.

                         ~* Some say that this plant can be used for blood purification and it is also used in the treatment of diabetics.

                         ~* The whole plant is said to be boiled in water for the treatment of cold and flu.

                         ~* The juice of roots of this plant is said to relief indigestion.

                         ~* It is said that the leaves of this plant are also used to treat hepatic diseases, but it is not proved yet.

                         ~* They were commonly used as garlands once upon a time.

Sources of medicinal use :


Despite having such beautiful flowers, this plant gets lesser attention these days when compared to the previous years. But still they do find a place as decorative flowers in some gardens. Some even use it for fencing the garden to give a uniform color around the boundaries. Hope this plant gets noticed better in the near future.


  1. Too much of Informations I say :) But good to know about the December poo :) Vajra Danti - On a funny note, is that anyway related to Vicco Vajra Danti ? Btw, a nice post.. Waiting for the other colors to blossom :)

    1. Thanks Deepak :) Nice question ! The ingredient used in Vicco comes under the same Genus of this plant but it is of a different species :)

  2. Thats a great start Sushmitha,Lovely pics with loads of information :)

  3. Nice post and the flower is beautiful too! :)

  4. Chennai Bloggers rock, first A to Z and now VIBGYOR. And after reading this post one thing I found that is where Vicco Vjardanti got its name from.

    Thanks for the information and for imparting knowledge to us. Beautiful flower too :)

    1. Yep !!! But I must say A to Z would have been a real challenge :) Yes Saru, the Vicco vajardanti has an ingredient of a plant that comes under the same genus of this plant but of different species.
      This plant is 'Barleria cristata', whereas the ingredient for Vicco comes from 'Barleria prionitis'

  5. Never knew that violet is also known as vajra danti as in the toothpaste?

    1. Indeed mam :) As I said it comes from same genus of this plant but of different species :)

  6. Beautiful flower. I never knew its Hindi name before.

  7. Beautiful one! This 'December Poo' was present in the grandparents' home @ B'lore and now reminded of those good days :)

    1. Thanks Kaushik :) Glad that this post made you reminiscence it!

  8. This text is worth everyone's attention. How can I find
    out more?


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