Sunday, March 04, 2007

Shooting Star (Clerodendrum quadriloculare)

Shooting Star
Clerodendrum quadriloculare
(kler-oh-DEN-drum) (kwah-drih-lok-yoo-LAIR-ee)

This plant seems to get huge and when it is blooming its covered with blossoms. This was taken at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach. I have posted before on the garden. I read an article in the Palm Beach Post on this plant while I was down in Florida. It described Clerodendrum as among the fastest growing shrubs in the world. Each time I saw a Starburst Bush it was in full bloom with huge waves of flowers giving only a glimpse of the purpley/green foliage. I grow two species here in Connecticut but they are a lot different. The flowers are different but the suckering habit and rapid growth sound about right. I have even trained a couple up as small trees. They have been around for years so they seem pretty hardy. One came in as a seedling in a tree ball and I think it is Glory Bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii). It is growing in a Styrax tree ball but starting to spread out. The other species I am not sure about but it looks like Clerodendrum trichotomum or Harlequin Glory Bower. Its colorful calyxs brighten the late summer/fall season. I had to go through the patch of this last year. It had just become too overwhelming. It was easy to restore it to a viable level and I have enjoyed having in the garden. There are several other beautiful species in the genus.

It looks like I will be living on this Florida stuff for awhile. It sounds like it is back to winter around here next week.

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