Pascuas is an erect, sparingly, and laxly branched shrub, 2
to 4 meters high. The plant has a milkly juice. Leaves are elliptic to oblong-elliptic or the upper ones lanceolate, 10 to 18 centimeters, the lower ones entirely green, obscurely repand or slightly lobed, long-petioled, slightly hairy beneath, the upper ones, at the time of flowering, uniformly bright-red.
Inflorescence is terminal. Involucres are ovoid, about 1 centimeter, the margins toothed, each with one or two large, yellow glands. Flowers are crowded.
- Cultivated as ornamental garden
- A traditional Christmas plant.
- Probably introduced about 1870.
- Native of Mexico.
- Triterpenes in the latex of E pulcherrima.
- Bracts yield a resin, a yellow and red coloring-matter, essential oil, tartaric acid, gallic acid, gum, glucose, sucrose, starch, and salts.
- Bark yields a red coloring principle; bracts yield a scarlet dye.
- Emetic, galactagogue, and cathartic.
- Latex considered caustic and poisonous.
Leaves and flowers.
- Poultice of leaves for erysipelas and a variety of
- Infusion of flowers used as galactagogue.
- Plants used as emetic and cathartic.
- In Mexico, decoction of bracts taken by nursing women to increase the flow of milk, although the practice is considered dangerous by some.
- Infusion of flowers prescribed as galatagogue.
- Plant used as emeto-cathartic.
• Contact dermatitis: Reports
of contact dermatitis associated with EP simulating a phototoxic reaction.
Contact (1) Dermatitis 1998 Feb;38(2):113-4
(2) Contact Dermatitis 1985 May;12(5):285-6
• Latex is very caustic and poisonos, severely irritating to wounds, and extremely dangerous to the eyes.
• Cytotoxic Testing: Two cytotoxic terpenoids isolated
from E pulcherrima. Cytotoxicity evaluation was performed using Erlich
ascites tumor cells. Although no cytotoxic activity was observed, both
isolated triterpenes exhibited cell inactivating effects.
(1) In a study of fruits, leaves, stems and flowers that included E. pulcherrima,
the extracts exhibited moderate antibacterial effects on Micrococcus
pyogenes, E coli and P aeruginosa. (2) The antibacterial effect of selected Indian medicinal plants was evaluated on bacterial strains like Bacillus cereus, Staph aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, E coli and K pneumonia. The most active antibacterial plant was Caesalpinia pulcherrima, comparable to piperacillin and gentamicin.
A study of the petroleum ether extract of the latex, bracts and flowers of E pulcherrima yielded germanical, B-amyrin and pseudotaraxasterol; from the latex, a new sterol, pulcherrol; from the stems, an octaeicosanol and B-sitosterol.
• Bactericide / Chitosan :
A chitosan solution markedly inhibited the growth of Xanthomonas sp. pathogenic to E. pulcherrima from different origins. Results showed potential bactericide against plant pathogenic bacteria.