Plumbago Indica is found in abundance in Southeast Asian countries like Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and India, from which it derives its name. This species of plumbago thrives in tropical temperatures of 25-35 degrees Celsius, which is the average temperature of all these countries near the equator, with tropical rainfall.
The Indian Leadwort is planted in almost all backyards and parks in Southeast Asian countries and is mostly prized for its aesthetics. The bright red or deep pink color of the flowers has also lead to it being named scarlet leadwort, and it is very prominent and ostentatious; giving gardens and yards a pop of color.
The plant is an evergreen shrub with a splattering of the red/pink flowers and can grow up to 1.5 m tall. The climate is ideal for its growth, abundantly humid and sunny all year round. The flowers are inflorescent, arranged along a spiked stem. The stems are semi-wooden and flexible, and the leaves are oblong to ovate-shaped.
Locally known as Lal (red) Chitrak in Hindi, Plumbago indica has more to it than its visual appeal. Chitrak is widely used in traditional Indian herbal medicines because of its root, which contains plumbagin, to cure a plethora of diseases and health problems, ranging from diarrhea and headaches to tuberculosis and rheumatism. Its nectar paste, powdered roots, and leaves (as a poultice) are topically applied for relief against a number of ailments in the rural parts of South Asian countries.
A word of caution is necessary here, however. The plant is poisonous, and if ingested in large doses, has been known to be fatal. Pregnant women are advised to stay away from it, as it can cause potential harm to the developing fetus.