Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Pendent Glorybower', Clerodendrum wallichi

 Clerodendrum wallichi syn C nutans (Verbenaceae)
A shrub 'designed' for a tropical downpour somewhere in India or Pakistan. Rain flowing down the channel of the linear-lanceolate leaves and out over the curved 'drip tip' while the enchanting flowers are floating free in a loose panicle protected individually by a sturdy calyx which changes colour from lime to coral as it ages. It's the 'Foot-long Sub' of flowering plants and these creamy white five petaled butterfly 'fans' have whiskery stamens which make them even more alluring. Phew!
 And now for the bad news. This is not a particularly hardy shrub outside the tropics. I have never grown it in the ground as from my past experience of growing it as a pot plant, it forgets to awake from a winter hibernation and remains leafless till early summer. During this dormancy it is vulnerable to root rot especially if it gets cold and wet, or if a wind chill factor brings the temperature very low. It requires a warm sheltered garden spot with moderately moist fertile soil which has been enriched with compost and kept free of weeds with thick mulch or leaf litter.

1 comment:

  1. I have grown in for many years in my Sydney garden. It is in a slightly raised bed, protected by a wall. I never prune it until the weather warms up in spring. One of my favourite plants.