Friday, October 22, 2010

Clerodendrum indicum

Clerodendrum indicum is a tall-growing species that is attractive long after the flowers fade.  In the fall, long, tubular, white flowers appear in profusion at the top of a 6 foot stalk, looking something like a fireworks display or shooting stars. 
The flower head can add another two foot to the height of the plant, and sometimes the weight will cause the tall stems to arch slightly.  
After the flowers drop, a colorful calyx remains.
As winter approaches the calyx thickens, becomes leathery in texture, and reddish in color.  Any flowers that were pollinated develop into round, metallic-blue fruits.  I like this stage even better than the flowers.
Clerodendrum indicum is not a fast spreader but over a period of years can outgrow the original planting so it is listed as potentially invasive.  During cold winters, the plants will die to the ground but always return to flower by fall, and add some color to the garden into early winter.
Skyrocket, Tubeflower, Turk's Turban, and Bowing Lady are among the many common names for this plant.  In this case it seems best to just stick with the botanical name to avoid confusion.
Clerodendrum indicum is native to the Malay Archipelago and recommended for USDA Zones 8-11.  Best flowering will be in a full sun to part shade location.  


Makarimi Abdullah said...

The flowers so attractive.

Andrea said...

It is a very beautiful flower, i haven't seen it here yet! Even just the calyx are beautiful.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I came across this plant this morning here in central Florida (growing road side). . . I looked all over the internet trying to identify it. Your post was perfect and a huge help. I hope you don't mind I quoted your information on my blog (I did not use your beautiful photos though since I didn't have your permission) and I added your blog link as well.

You wouldn't happen to know if these are easy to start from seeds would you?

Again - great post, very helpful - and made my morning!

Grower Jim said...

eli: I haven't tried them from seed, but I think they're probably fairly easy. Even if you only get one started it will spread.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply. I planted 20+ seeds this morning and will grow under grow lights through-out the winter. Nothing to lose!

Unknown said...

Thank you for all the information posted regarding this plant. Do you have any tips regarding best time to harvest and store the seeds?

Grower Jim said...

Harvest when the fruits turn purple/black and plant them immediately.