Callisia fragrans is an indoor ornamental, herb plant with a rosette growth form. It has large clustered leaves (5 – 40 cm long and 2 – 10 cm wide) are spirally arranged and either green, purplish-green or purplish in color. These leaves are oblong or elongated in shape, hairless, and have pointed tips. The base of the leaf is narrowed to an inconspicuous sheath, which is more clearly seen on the much smaller leaves found along the stolons. These branched clusters contain large numbers of blossoms and are arranged into smaller dense clusters, each subtended by a papery bract. Blossoming occurs mostly during late winter and spring. The fruit is little, three-celled, capsules.
Scientific Name: Callisia fragrans
Synonyms: Spironema orthandrum, Rectanthera fragrans, Spironema fragrans.
Common Names: Basket plant, Chain plant or Inch plant.
How to grow and maintain Callisia fragrans:
It thrives best in bright light to partial shade. Keep your plant at least three or four hours of direct sunlight per day.
It grows well in fertile, moist but well-drained soil.
It prefers the Temperature in a rest period, minimum 10°C maximum 16°C / 50 – 61°F and the temperature in an active growth period, minimum 16°C maximum 21°C / 61-70°F.
Water regularly and moderately, always keep the soil moist but never allow your plant to sit in water. During the winter season, reduce watering and only water when the top of soil becomes dry.
Fertilize your plant once every 2 weeks during the active growth period with standard liquid fertilizer.
It can be easily propagated by trailing offsets or by cuttings. Take 5cm long tip cuttings in spring or summer. Insert one cutting of Chain plant in a 5 or 8 cm pot of standard potting mixture.
Re-pot every 2 – 3 years during the spring season. Transfer to a larger container when root bound using regular potting soil.
Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems.
Medicinal benefits of Callisia fragrans:
Callisia Fragrans has highly active substances such as beta-sitosterol, decreasing cholesterol levels in the blood, strengthen and cleanse the walls of blood vessels. It is utilized for the treatment of atherosclerosis, metabolic diseases, endocrine system, and inflammations of the prostate
It has vitamin C, vitamin B2, and micro-nutrients, copper, iron, and nickel.
Leaves of Callisia fragrans are utilized for treatment of various skin diseases, burns, and joint disorders. The leaves contain biologically active flavonoids, neutral glycol and phospholipids and their fatty acid compositions.