Monday, October 18, 2010

Clerodendrum speciosissimum (Glorybower)

Clerodendrum speciosissimum , or Glorybower as it is sometimes known, is probably my favorite out of the many species of Clerodendrum in cultivation. The flowers are a brilliant red and cover the plant for months at a time.

 Butterflies love this plant, and Swallowtails in particular can usually be seen hovering around the plant or feeding from the red flowers.  Hummingbirds also find the blooms attractive.  The leaves are large and heart-shaped, making for a nice tropical foliage effect.
Clerodendrum speciosissimum is native to Indonesia, but has become established in tropical regions around the world.  It generally grows to a height of 5-6 feet but can get much taller in ideal conditions.  The flower clusters form on the tip of each branch.

The plant grows in sun or light shade and is extremely drought-tolerant. It is recommended for USDA Zones 9b to ll.  In warm locations it will be evergreen.  In colder locations, the stems can die back to the ground during brief freezes, but quickly come back to bloom again. Although Clerodendrum speciosissimum will spread beyond where it was originally planted, it is not particularly invasive and can be controlled by pulling up stray stems.

In folk medicines, various plant parts are used to treat arthritis, eye problems, hemorrhoids, hernia, and insomnia.


~fer said...

A very nice bloom!
I like how the flower looks like a little dancer with thin legs and arms wide open jumping around.

Kimberly said...

Jim, your post is perfectly timed! I just acquired some of these plants from a neighbor's yard but no one seemed to know the name. I planted in my yard and have watered generously as it was not happy to make the transition to its new home in my garden. I'm hoping it'll change its mind and do well for me!! Thank so much for identifying and informing me about this lovely speciman!!