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 is an evergreen shrub growing on open, sunny habitats like landslips, disturbed soils, agricultural land, waste land and degraded place. Plant is very common up to 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 in full bloom growing roadside on concrete wall

                        Dhave 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 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 flowers dried for later use.

 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. Flowers need to be sustainably harvested by rotating habitat and keeping some flowers on parent plant for ensuring sustainable development. Flowers can be dried for later use also.

Powdered dhave flowers..

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.

Collecting 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.


Either separate petals from rest of flowers or grind whole flowers in a mixer. Make a paste of flowers or ground 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 flowers:


1/2 kg dhave fresh flower, 1 Kg curd, 1 cup fresh coriander leaves (chopped), 3-5 green chilies, 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 flowers ready to serve.

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. Mix well and garnish with green coriander, mint leaves (Mentha piperta), curry leaves ( Murraya koenigii ) , ambi ( Rumex hastatus), khat – malori (Oxalis corniculata) leaves. Now rayata is ready to serve.

Chutney Preparation:

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

Chutney of dhave flowers



Ground paste of fresh dhave flower ,250 g; besan (black gram flour) or corn flour,1/2 kg ; 1 cup fresh coriander leaves (chopped), 3-5 green chilies, ½ table spoon turmeric powder, 2-3 medium sized chopped onions, 2-3 medium sized finely chopped potato and salt according to taste.

Dhave dried flowers powder ,chopped potatoes, peanuts, kachnar flower (Bauhinia variegata), basen and spices for pakoras preparation.


Make a paste of ground dhave flowers , chopped potatoes, basen and spices listed above. Mix well and add some tender chopped leaves of mulberry (Morus alba). Make small ball of this paste and in hot mustard oil give these balls a deep fry.Repeat this process till whole paste is over. Pakoras are now ready to serve. Serve these hot with chutney or tomato-ketchup.

Dave flower pakoras ready to serve.

 Dhave Pakora Curry :

Dhave pakoras; 250 g mustard oil 3-4 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek seed powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seeds, 1 tea spoon; turmeric powder, 1 table spoon; red chilies, 2-3; chopped onion, 1; chopped garlic, 4-6 cloves; ginger paste, ½ table spoon; tomato puree, 3 or 5 cups curd.  


Saute curd in hot mustard oil along with spices listed above in same sequence. Add to it dhave pakoras and cook for 8-10 minutes. Now add to it garam masala and garnish with mint or coriander leaves. Dhave pakora curry is now ready to serve, You can serve it with rice or chapattis

 Dhave pakora curry ready to serve

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 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 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



1,614 thoughts on “Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz- Dhave (धावे)

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