A big shrub or small tree nicknamed butterfly tree or peanut butter shrub is once again growing in my yard. I had the plant in a former yard and it always attracted dozens of black swallowtail butterflies and hummingbirds to its fragrant flowers. The plant, which I now grow as a single-stemmed tree, does sucker but it's worth the effor to pull up the suckers to enjoy the plant.
Here's a profile of the plant, which I got at Smithfield Gardens on Route 17 in Suffolk; call 757-238-2511. Countryside Gardens in Hampton, 722-9909, often has the plant.
Clerodendrum trichotomumCommon Name: clerodendrumType: Deciduous shrubFamily: LamiaceaeZone: 7 to 10Native Range: JapanHeight: 10 to 20 feetSpread: 10 to 20 feetBloom Time: July to SeptemberBloom Color: WhiteBloom Description: WhiteSun: Full sun to part shadeWater: MediumMaintenance: MediumFlowers: Showy Flowers, Fragrant FlowersLeaves: FragrantFruit: Showy FruitUses: HedgeCulture
Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10 where it is grown in organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. In St. Louis, it is not reliably winter hardy and, if attempted, should be sited in a protected location with a winter mulch.
Native to China and Japan, this clerodendrum 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. Flowers are followed by small bright blue fruits, each subtended by a fleshy red calyx. Opposite, toothed to entire, ovate, dark green leaves (to 5-8” long) produce no fall color. 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. Clerodendrum comes from the Greek words klero (fate) and dendron (tree), hence the infrequently used common name of fate tree.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Source: Missouri Botanical Garden at http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/b737/clerodendrum-trichotomum.aspx
Posted by Kathy Van Mullekom; email@example.com