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CLERODENDRUM trichotomum

Image of Clerodendrum trichotomum

James Burghardt

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

CLERODENDRUM trichotomum

Plant Common Name

Harlequin Glorybower

General Description

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 calyces persist after opening, deepening to purple-red and framing the blue-black, berry-like fruits that follow the flowers. The fruits attract hungry songbirds. The leaves fall while still green.

Grow harlequin glorybower in full to partial sun and fertile well-drained soil. Regular watering will keep it lush and healthy. It is great toward the rear of a mixed border or trained as a small tree (which requires regular removal of its suckering stems). In the coldest parts of its hardiness range it sometimes behaves as a herbaceous perennial, dying tot the ground in winter. Cultivar ‘Carnival’ is grown for its cream-edged leaves.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8'-20' / 2.4m - 6.1m

  • Width

    10'-18' / 3.0m - 5.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Burgundy

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Blue, Dark Blue, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No