Clerodendrum trichotomum, native to China and Japan, 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 like 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.
Planting & Caring –
Easily grown in organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It is not reliably wintering hardy and, if attempted, should be sited in a protected location with a winter mulch.