Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii
Clerodendrum (sometimes incorrectly Clerodendron)

Tag -
54 deg 34.993N
5 deg 55.941W
Clerodendrum is a fairly large genus of mostly tropical plants, some trees and shrubs and some climbers. The genus is in the Labiatae family and is, surprisingly, closely related to the genus Ajuga. Clerodendrum trichotomum is one of the few species from temperate climates in China and Japan. It will form a small tree up to 8m or often a many-stemmed shrub.

The leaves are large, heart shaped and have a distinctive smell - variously described as acrid, potato scented or revolting!

The flowers on the other hand are sweetly scented and it for these that the shrub is usually grown in gardens. The flowers are white with red calyces and are followed by striking blue berries which contrast with the calyces which remain until the fruit are shed.

Clerodendrum needs a fairly sheltered and sunny situation and benefits from a peaty soil. It does usually produce a lot of suckers and can be propagated from these.

Clerodendrum in Belfast Botanic Gardens Clerodendrum leaves in Belfast Botanic Gardens
Clerodenrdum trichotomum in Belfast Botanic Gardens Clerodendrum trichotomum leaves
flowers of Clerodendrum Flower of Clerodendrum
Flowering branches of Clerodendrum trichotomum Flowers of Clerodendrum trichotomum

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2016. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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