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CLERODENDRANTHUS spicatus

Image of Clerodendranthus spicatus

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

CLERODENDRANTHUS spicatus

Plant Common Name

Orthosiphon

General Description

Flowers with extremely long stamens make cat's whiskers an eye-catching plant for a tropical cottage garden. It is a tender, evergreen, perennial subshrub (woody only at the base) that is native from southeastern Asia to Australia and the Philippines.

The dark green, glossy leaves are long triangles with jagged edges. The dark stems are particularly showy when the tips hold a pyramid-like cluster of light violet to white flowers. The flower buds are white, and open first at the base of the cluster, revealing very long, slightly curving stamens and pistils (female floral tubes). Butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds visit the blooms.

Grow cat's whiskers in fertile, well-drained soil in partial sun to filtered light. Growing tall but sometimes floppy, it may be pruned back lightly and repeatedly to keep it more compact during the growing season. Flowering may cease in oppressive heat and humidity. Reduce watering in the cooler winter months. Use it as an annual bedding plant in temperate regions and as a wispy, perennial border plant in warm, frost-free areas.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-36" / 45.7cm - 91.4cm

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, India, China, Melanesia, Australia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Lavender, Violet

  • Fruit Color

    Chocolate

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes