Carol Cloud Bailey
Pagoda flower has big, maple-like, glossy green leaves that accentuate the large, vivid, orange-red flowers in a long-lasting, dome shaped cluster at the tips of stems throughout spring and summer. Native to southeastern Asia from southern China to Malaysia, this is a frost-tender, suckering, evergreen, multi-stemmed shrub. The bright green foliage is large and obviously veined, with three to five short lobes, resembling those of a maple tree. At anytime of year, but more reliably in the warmest...
(Shooting Star, Starburst Clerodendrum)
This is one of the tropic's most beautiful flowering shrubs. Large, dark-green and burgundy leaves are the backdrop for firework-resembling, pink and white flower clusters in late winter and early spring. A large, frost-tender shrub from the Philippines, shooting star is typically evergreen but will lose foliage if the dry season is exceptionally cool or dry. The leaves can grow quite long, being oval to oblong in shape, a dull, dark green above with a glossy, purple to burgundy underside.
(Variegated Shooting Star)
Large cream, dark-green and burgundy variegated leaves are the backdrop for fireworks-like, pink and white flower clusters in late winter and early spring. A large, frost-tender shrub from the Philippines, 'Brandonii' was selected by Mark Herndon of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1995. It is typically evergreen but will lose foliage if the dry season is exceptionally cool or dry. The leaves can grow quite long, being oval to oblong in shape. They are dark green with patches of pale green and cream above...
The fuzzy, bright green leaves of Javanese glorybower and its clusters of bright orange flowers in the warm months are a beautiful bu pesky addition to a tropical garden. A clumping and suckering evergreen shrub from Sri Lanka and Indonesia, it will aggressively spread itself across the garden, filling in gaps between or shading out other shrubs. The leaves are rounded, almost heart-shaped, tapering to a modest tip, colored bright green and are downy textured. Most heavily concentrated at the semi-woody...
Fragrant white flowers followed by blue berries and starry red calyces make this large suckering deciduous shrub a highlight of the summer garden. One of the hardiest glorybowers, it is native to eastern Asia.
The large oval to triangular leaves are papery and often fuzzy. Crushed leaves smell like peanut butter. Large, loose clusters of fused, inflated, green or pink calyces appear atop and along the stems in mid to late summer, opening to release vanilla-scented white flowers. The five-lobed...
(Blue Butterfly Bush, Glorybower)
The unusual, colorful flowers of blue butterfly bush make this a highly sought after garden plant for temperate and tropical gardens alike. This rangy, frost-tender, evergreen shrub is native to tropical East Africa. Often listed as a vine, it has a weak, upright habit and sometimes requires support, though it is far too rangy or bushy to be considered a true vine.
Large, coarsely toothed, elliptical leaves of medium green line the square stems in opposite arrangement. The flowers are borne...
(Cinnamon Clethra, Pointed-leaved White Alder)
Named for its colorful bark, cinnamon clethra is also noteworthy for its yellow fall color and white summer flowers. Native to moist habitats in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, it develops into a medium to tall shrub in the northernmost part of its range, and a small tree in the South. Plants will sucker and if untended can form thickets over time.
The large, medium to dark green, oval leaves of cinnamon clethra have serrated edges, pointed tips and deep pleated veins. The leaves...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Coastal Sweetpepperbush, White Summersweet)
Prized for its handsome foliage, compact upright habit, and fuzzy spikes of fragrant flowers, this suckering deciduous shrub is native to the eastern United States from Maine to Florida. Appearing in midsummer, the spicy-scented white or pink flowers attract butterflies and bees. Peppercorn-like seedheads follow the flowers, providing winter interest. The leaves turn butter-yellow in fall. Several cultivars are widely available, including pink-flowered and dwarf selections such as 'Compacta', 'Hummingbird',...