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CLERODENDRUM bungei

Image of Clerodendrum bungei

Felder Rushing

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CLERODENDRUM bungei

Plant Common Name

Gloryblower, Mexican Hydrangea

General Description

With handsome, glossy, plump heart-shaped leaves, cashmere bouquet steals the show in summer with clustered flower-balls of fragrant, dark and light pink blossoms. A subropical, semi-woody, deciduous shrub that very aggresively spreads out roots to become a thicket, it is native to eastern India, Burma and southwestern China. The leaves emerge with a purple tint, unfurling into a large, obese, heart-shaped blade with a semi-glossy dark green color. The edges are lined with many short, soft teeth. Crushing a leaf or stem will release a stinky odor. In the heat of summer each stem tip is topped with a showy, tight cluster of bright, deep pink buds that open into hundreds of small, five-petaled light pink flowers that cannot be resisted by butterflies. The sweet fragrance perfumes the air, too. The small, berry-like fruits that may form are a showy blue.

Plant cashmere bouquet in full sun for best flowering, but it handles partial shade well in moist, non-alkaline soils with good drainage. Plants can be fully evergreen in warm, moist climates, but typically are deciduous in cold winters or if there is a pronounced subtropical dry season. Prune off or dig up sprouting suckers from the clump to prevent a thicket from forming and spreading in the garden. In areas with a cold winter, the barren stems may freeze back to the roots, which should be heavily mulched. Use it in the mixed border or butterfly garden, or perhaps best managed in a large container on the patio. Cultivar 'Pink Diamond' has outstanding variegated foliage with shades of green, light green and cream.

In subtropical and tropical regions (such as southern Florida and Hawaii), this species has become a vicious nuisance, widely regarded as a prohibited invasive plant. Ask local authorities about its potential use in the landscape.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Width

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, India, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Fuchsia

  • Fruit Color

    Blue

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No