Clerodendrum – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
There is always a certain attraction about shrubs with blue berries and Clerodendrum trichotomum is one of the finest in this category, with turquoise-blue fruits, their colour enhanced by the crimson calyces in which they are held. The fruits turn black in time and drop off, but the calyces persist to give a certain amount of colour to this hardy shrub.
It grows to some 12 feet tall, perhaps even reaching 15 feet and so requires a fair amount of space. The leaves are large, about 9 inches long, oval in shape and have a some-what unpleasant smell if they are handled. On the other hand the whiteare sweetly scented. These appear from July onwards, in clusters, and are tubular in shape. The red calyces surrounding them add a good deal of colour.
The Clerodendrum shrub is one of the mostas it will grow in most garden soils, but it does not like drought, so it pays to dig in a fair amount of leaf-mould, well-rotted , or moist peat, when the ground is prepared for planting. Although it is hardy, it does best in a sheltered situation where its young shoots are not liable to be damaged by cold winds.
Pruning, in the normal sense, is not required, but it is worth going over the shrub in late spring and cutting away dead wood or shoots affected by frost. Suckers appear round the base and may be dug up and used to form new plants.