Family:                    Lythraceae
Synonyms:             Woodfordia tomentosa (Roxb.Bedd. Acistoma coccineum Zipp. ex Span. Grislea punctata Buch.-Ham. ex Sm.
Common Name:     Fire-Flame bush
Local Name:            Dhave (धावे), Dhoth

      Dhave plant is an evergreen shrub growing on open, sunny habitats like landslips, disturbed soils, agricultural land, waste land and degraded place. Plant is very common upto an altitude of 1800 m in western Himalayas. It generally prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil also, so usually seen growing in concrete walls and roadsides.

Dhave plant in full bloom growing roadside on concrete wall

                        Dhave plant is a gregarious shrub which helps to bind the soil together, it act as a useful remedy to soil erosion and an efficient soil-improver. The plant can tolerate strong winds and frost.

                       Dhave plant is known for its red flowers bloom during spring season, which are harvested as a food as well as source of dye by inhabitants of western Himalayas. Plant is also well known for its medicinal uses specially to enhance fertility in women.

 Dhave Plant:

   Plant is evergreen shrubs,3 to 5m tall with spreading stems.

 Leaves subsessile, 4-11 x 2-4 cm, ovate-lanceolate or lanceolate, sub coriaceous, whitish velvety tomentose and finely orangish- or black-punctate beneath.

 Flowers crimson, slightly zygomorphic, in 2-16-flowered axillary cymes; pedicels to 1 cm long. Calyx tube 1-1.5 cm long, tubular; lobes 6, short, more or less triangular, alternating with small callous appendages. Petals 6, red, 3-4 mm long, lanceolate-acuminate. Stamens 12, inserted near the bottom of the calyx tube, 0.5-1.5 cm long. Ovary 4-6 mm long, oblong, 2-celled; ovules many; style 0.7-1.5 cm long.

 Capsule 0.6-1 x 0.25-0.4 cm, ellipsoid, included in the calyx.

 Seeds numerous, trigonous-ovoid.

Dhave plant can provide edible flowers in full spring to mid summers

Edible uses:

  Fresh flowers are used for many culinary preparations like rayata, pakoras, kachru and chutney.  Flowers are harvested when open and can be dried for later use.

Harvesting Dhave flowers

Kachru of dhave flowers:

Kachru is most common preparation of Dhave flowers and is prepared by making a paste of flowers with besan or corn flour and mixing it with spices.


 For preparing 1/2 kg flower Kachru ingredients one will need 250g besan (black gramflour) or corn flour,1 cup fresh coriander leaves (chopped), 3-5 green chillies, ½ table spoon turmeric powder, 1/2 table spoon caraway, 2-3 medium sized chopped onions and salt according to taste.


Make a paste of flowers with besan or corn flour and mixing it with spices.Heat some oil on a flat cooking pan and spread paste on it. Heat for 15-20 minutes occasionally turning it to other side and kachru will be ready. Serve hot with tomato sauce or some other ketchup.

Kachru of dhave flowers ready to serve


Rayata of dhave plant flowers:


1/2 kg dhave fresh flower, 1 Kg curd, 1 cup fresh coriander leaves (chopped), 3-5 green chillies, a pinch of black pepper powder, 1 table spoon rai powder, 2-3 medium sized chopped onions and salt according to taste.


Rayata of dhave flower garnished with Rumex hastatus and Oxalis corniculata

Boil and squeeze dhave flowers and add directly with ingredients listed above into curd, or  add after shallow firing flowers in hot oil with onion and other spices listed above and garnish with green coriander,mint( (Mentha piperta), kaadi pata ( Murraya koenigii) , ambi ( Rumex hastatus), khat – malori (Oxalis corniculata) leaves. Now rayata is ready to serve.

Chutney Preparation:

For preparing chutney grind dhave flowers, 200g; khat malori leaves( Rumex hastatus) or some other acidulant acc. to taste, 200g; mint leaves, 200g; medium sized onion, 2; green chillies, 6-8 in a mixer grinder and  add to this  salt according to taste. Now chutney is ready to serve.

Chutney of Dhave flowers

 Seek advice from a professional before using this plant medicinally.

Medicinal Uses:

 Almost all the parts of dhave plant viz flowers, fruits,roots, leaves and buds mixed with pedicels and thinner twigs possess valuable medicinal properties, its tender branches are used as a brush to clean teeth locally in villages, but this practice is not common among future generation. Decoction of flowers regulate liver disorder and poultice applied on forehead relieves headache. Inhabitants of western Himalayas uses dried flower powder for healing wounds and ulcers. Leaves of dhave plant are used traditionally to treat ulcers, rheumatism, fever, hemoptysis and as a disinfectant.  Plant also possess astringent properties and used to control heavy menstruation and hemorrhoids. Dried flowers and roots are an important ingredient of a preparation {local medicine prepared by Vaidya} to enhance women fertility.  Flowers have been traditionally used in the Beed district of Maharashtra as anti-diabetic agent (Das et al., 2007). Many marketed drugs comprise flowers, fruits, leaves and buds mixed with pedicels and thinner twigs of this plant (Das et al. 2007).

Other uses:

 Dhave plant wood is used as a fuel. leaves are used as a fodder for sheep and goats The red dye extracted from the flowers is extensively used  for dyeing fabrics. Plant is very efficient in controlling soil erosion.

Dhave as a source of Income:

There is a great demand of dhave flowers both in domestic and international markets due to its medicinal value, so poor can enhance their income by selling dhave flowers.


Das, M. M. ; Samanta, A. K. ; Singh, K. K. ; Mojumdaer, A. B., 2007. Stylo feed block for goats and sheep. Indian J. Anim. Sci., 77 (12): 1341-1343



433 thoughts on “Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz- Dhave (धावे)

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