Correct Answer: Clerodendron Trichotomom
We bring in plants for a number of reasons; sometimes it’s market pressure, customer requests, or simply as in this case that we can’t pass up a cool plant. Clerodendron is a zone 7 hardy plant, but so are crape myrtle, many of the southern mags, encore azaleas, you get the idea. The first time we were exposed to Harlequin Glorybower was at the New Jersey Botanical garden in Ringwood New Jersey. We were strolling the park in August and smelled it well before we saw it. Tucked away in a shrub mass, we're talking truly buried, was this amorphous shrub, rather unkempt, but blooming away and fragrant as all get out. So maybe we get a pass for bringing in a marginally hardy plant, as it was growing right here in New Jersey.
We recommend a protected spot in the landscape if you consider it. Typically it is grown as a large shrub 10-20’ with a comparable spread. It prefers full sun, but will tolerate some light shade. This is not your tidy little landscape plant, so give it room and if its formal you’re after we would pass on it, but oh that fragrance…just amazing. After the blooms finish, they are followed up by a blue fruit surrounded by reddish to pink sepals. This too makes a nice show. As an aside, the mature plant we saw in Ringwood was a major attraction for hummingbirds. If you do go for it, you can take comfort in the fact that you’ll probably be the only one in the neighborhood with this plant!
Stay tuned for our next plant!