A large genus of late flowering, tender and semi-hardy trees, shrubs and climbers with showy fragrant flowers. Well worth growing if you have a warm sheltered, south facing situation.
Botanical Name: Clerodendrum (kle-ro-den-drum)
Common Names: glory bower, glorytree, peanut butter tree
Foliage: Deciduous or evergreen, simple green leaves. The foliage can have an unpleasant aroma, reminiscent of peanut butter.
Flowers: Clusters of fragrant white or rose-pink flowers with prominent stamens. Often followed by small blue or black fruits.
Flowering Period: Midsummer to autumn.
Soil: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.
Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Best planted in a south facing aspect, in a sheltered position.
Habit: Bushy, suckering.
Type: Shrub or small tree.
Origin: China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India, Philippines.
Hardiness: Garden varieties are hardy in mild and coastal regions of the UK. Tender species can be grown as conservatory or houseplants.
Thrives in any good, moist but well drained, humus-rich soil. Plant in full sun or light shade, and a sheltered position. Drought tolerant once established.
Suitable as a specimen shrub or as part of a mixed shrubbery in coastal and mild areas. Tender species can be successfully grown under glass in colder regions and brought outside in summer.
Protect from very intense sunlight and strong winds. Water regularly in dry weather but do not over water.
Most garden worthy species are hardy down to around -10°C, but usually regenerate after frost damage.
Remove frost damaged branches and any dead or weak growth in spring.
Prone to red spider mite and whitefly when grown under glass. Generally disease free.
Propagate by removing rooted suckers from around the plant. Alternatively, increase from semi-hardwood cuttings in summer.
Clerodendrum bungei forms a small bush with large deciduous heart-shaped leaves and tight clusters of rose-pink flowers. Height to 3ft (90cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan. Variety 'Pink Diamond' is a compact form bearing lime-green leaves with white variegations. For sale at Suttons.
Clerodendrum infortunatum (bhat, hill glory bower) is a medium-sized shrub bearing large panicles of white flowers, tinged with pink, in March-April.
Clerodendrum paniculatum (pagoda flower) has glossy, deep-veined leaves and pink, orange-red or red, trumpet-shaped flowers in terminal panicles, shaped like Chinese pagodas.
Clerodendrum speciosissimum (Java glory bower) produces a medium-sized bush bearing clusters of showy orange-red or red flowers. Height and spread 4 to 6ft (1.2-2m).
Clerodendrum thomsoniae (bleeding glory bower, bleeding-heart vine) is an evergreen climber with twining stems bearing dark-green leaves and terminal panicles of red flowers with white calyces. Supported height to 12ft (4m). The cultivar 'Variegatum' has cream splashed leaves and the variety 'Speckled' has attractive multicolored leaves.
Clerodendrum trichotomum one of the most attractive garden forms. It is a vigorous branching shrub with simple leaves and loose clusters of white flowers held in red calyces. Striking turquoise-blue berries against red petals in autumn. Height and spread up to 20ft (6m), where growing conditions permit. For sale at Thompson & Morgan. Variety 'fargesii' has attractive purple foliage when young. Variety 'Carnival' has green leaves with a yellow margin when young.
Clerodendrum ugandense (Blue Butterfly Orchid bush) is a tender choice evergreen, bearing clouds of bright blue, butterfly-like blooms. Needs a minimum overnight temperature of 5°C so makes an ideal houseplant for the conservatory or greenhouse. For sale at You Garden.
Clerodendrum wallichii Prospero is a tender houseplant with glossy green leaves and stunning drooping sprays of white flowers. Maintain temperatures above 15°C in winter. For sale at Crocus.