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September 2014

Did you know that the foliage of Clerodendrum trichotomum smells like unsweetened peanut butter when crushed?

Harlequin Glorybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum). Flowers and fruits

Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum

Clerodendrum trichotomum (harlequin glorybower, glorytree, peanut butter tree) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clerodendrum. It is placed in the family Lamiaceae, or sometimes the Verbenaceae. It is native to China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and India.

Clerodendrum trichotomum is a coarse, sometimes unkempt, deciduous shrub or small tree that grows 10-20’ tall. It is most often seen as a suckering shrub. It must be trained to grow as a tree and is rarely seen growing in that form. As an ornamental, this shrub is perhaps best noted for its late summer flowers, showy fruit and malodorous foliage.

Tubular, fragrant, white flowers in long-peduncled cymes (to 6-9” across) bloom in the upper leaf axils from late summer into fall. The perfume is exotic and elusive. But there is even more than bloom and fragrance to this small tree since in late summer there are stunning fruits. The seed is a metallic blue sapphire framed by a fleshy red-magenta calyx. And flowers and fruits can be found on the plant at the same time.

Opposite, toothed to entire, ovate, dark green leaves (to 5-8” long) produce no fall color and covered with a soft fuzz. When bruised, the leaves do produce a unique aroma reminiscent of peanut butter as memorialized by the sometimes used common name of peanut butter tree for this plant. Harlequin glorybower is a more frequently used common name. Genus name Clerodendrum was named by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. Clerodendrum comes from the Greek words kleros (fate) and dendron (tree), hence the infrequently used common name of fate tree.

It is cultivated for its fragrant flowers, autumn colour, and ornamental berries. It is hardy but requires a sheltered position. The variety C. trichotomum var. fargesii (Farges' harlequin glorybower) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. It prefers full sun and moist well drained soil. It exhibits little winter interest so is best used in a mixed border. It grows 15 to 20 feet tall and is often multi-trunked but could be grown as a single trunked specimen if staked. It is the perfect size for today’s smaller gardens and ideal for container, or patio which is especially useful in colder climes as this is a warm temperate to subtropical plant.

Obviously, hummingbirds are attracted to it, hence the name hummingbird bush. Strangely, though, they are attracted to the fragrant blooms in August and September and not the colorful red and blue seed pods.

Clerodendrum trichotomum has varied medicinal properties. In China parts of the plant are important for creating several herbal medications. The leaves are mildly analgesic, antipruritic, hypotensive and sedative. They are used externally in the treatment of dermatitis and internally for the treatment of hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, numbness and paralysis. When used in a clinical trial of 171 people, the blood pressure of 81% of the people dropped significantly - this effect was reversed when the treatment was stopped. The plant is normally used in conjunction with Bidens bipinnata. When used with the herb Siegesbeckia pubescens it is anti-inflammatory. The roots and leaves are antirheumatic and hypotensive. A decoction is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and hypertension. The pounded seed is used to kill lice.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerodendrum_trichotomum
http://www.atreeaday.com/atreeaday/Clerodendron_trichotomum.html
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/
PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b737
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Clerodendrum+trichotomum

 

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Champak - Magnolia champaca
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Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
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Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
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Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
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Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
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Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
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Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
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Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
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Caper - Capparis spinosa
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Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
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Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
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Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
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Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
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Sansevieria - Snake Plant
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African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
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Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
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Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
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Astilbe - False Goats Beard
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Aquilegia - Columbine
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Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
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Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
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Calendula - Marigold
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Canna - Indian Shot
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Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
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Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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