Thursday, 5 March 2015

CHINESE GLORY BOWER

Clerodendrum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. Its common names include glorybower, bagflower and bleeding-heart. Estimates of the number of species in Clerodendrum vary widely, from about 150 to about 450. The genus is native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the world, with most of the species occurring in tropical Africa and southern Asia, but with a few in the tropical Americas and northern Australasia, and a few extending north into the temperate zone in eastern Asia.

Clerodendrum chinense (Chinese glory bower) is a perennial shrub up to 2.4 m tall. White or pink fragrant double flowers, 2 cm across, occur in dense inflorescences. The wild form is single-flowered. The flowers are very fragrant in the evening and attract butterflies. The leaves are large (6-10 cm long), opposite and simple with variable margins. The shrubs have a lot of lush green foliage and the flower head nestles in between the leaves, with individual flowers taking turns to bloom. Each bloom stays up to three days before withering. The flower head throws up flowers for a fortnight before another takes its place. Propagation is very easy. All you need to do is take cuttings of the stem or side branches, insert them in soil and water at regular intervals.

C. chinense is a highly invasive weed in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. This species has the capacity to move into a habitat and reproduce aggressively by root suckers. C. chinense is classified as a “major weed” in Hawaii, Fiji, Western Samoa, and America Samoa (PIER, 2012) where it grows commonly along roadsides and as an ornamental shrub in gardens. This species rapidly invades pastures and plantations wherever it is planted forming dense thickets that exclude other species.

In our garden in Melbourne it grows quite happily in a narrow, shady, side garden bed where many other plants struggle to survive. We keep it in check quite easily by pruning and uprooting young suckers as necessary - not a lot of hard work. The many clusters of deliciously fragrant flowers are reward enough.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



4 comments:

  1. That's lovely. I like that it has very delicate color.

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  2. Thanks for the detailed info. Over what months does it flower for you? Do you think it could be pruned to a standard tree?

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