Thursday, 15 January 2009

Clerodendrum bungei

I got a specimen from a friend a long time ago, not knowing what this really was. I merely recall it being planted en-masse just outside Les Amis au Jardin at SBG, or so I thought. So, I found a nice little corner in the garden and proceeded to plant it, quite unsuspectingly of course. Naturally I had to find out the hard way when I noticed many new suckers appearing all over my garden within weeks.

The Clerodendrum bungei (commonly referred to as the Glory Bower) does, like many other members of the Clerodendrum family tend to have aggressive suckering. They are therefore highly invasive in nature and can be quite a pain to maintain. However, the upside to all this lies in the fact that the plant does produce large scented cluster of dark pink / magenta coloured flowers. It's large dark-green leaves and suckering nature makes this plant an ideal "filler", preferably within contained spaces.

Despite its shortcomings, the Glory Bower is easy to grow and is relatively fuss free. A good dose of direct sunshine and regular moisture is all it needs to thrive.

Apart from the Glory Bower, I also have the Clerodendrum paniculatum (Pagoda flower - comes in orange-red and yellow), Clerodendrum chinense (Honolulu rose) and the Clerodendrum ugandense (Butterfly Clerodendrum) which is a non-suckering plant that produces beautiful pale blue-violet to white flowers which dance like little butterflies with long antennae at the ends of long, arching branches.

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