Clerodendrum splendens

flaming glorybower vine


Clerodendrum splendens

G.Don 1924

pronounced: kler-oh-DEN-drum SPLEN-denz

(Lamiaceae — the lavender family)


common name: flaming glorybower vine

Clerodendrum comes from two Greek words, κληρος (kléros), fate, or chance, and δενδρον (dendron), a tree; splendens is Latin for shining, splendid.

Flaming Glorybower, like so many of the Clerodendrum species, is native to western Africa. It is a woody or semi-woody evergreen vine that climbs, by twining, to almost 4 m. It requires a sturdy support, as it has rather a rampant growth, and can become quite heavy. It likes full sun, but can do with some shade during the hottest part of the day in high summer. Not too much shade should be provided, however, as that will reduce the number of flowers produced.

Once it reaches the top of whatever is supporting it, it sends its branches out and down to form a dense wall of lush green leaves, and many large flower clusters. If no support is provided, it will send its branches out across the ground, forming a dense ground cover. This is a great way to cover a bare area of garden quickly and effectively.

Glorybower also makes a good indoor house plant. It will grow well in a brightly lit area, but every once in a while it needs trimming back before it takes over the entire room.

It has opposite, glossy green leaves, ovate to oblong, up to 18 cm long and 8 cm broad.

The flowers are borne in terminal clusters. The red corolla is fused to form a tube, and the lobes spread abruptly to about 2 cm long. The stamens, with their red filaments, are exserted. They are extremely showy, and are attractive to butterflies as well as to humans. The colour lasts from the sepals even after the flowers have shed their petals.

The plant can be propagated from seed, or from softwood cuttings in spring, or by breaking off pieces of root, or by removing rooted suckers. Branching and more extensive flowering can be encouraged by cutting the previous season’s growth back to a suitable pair of buds. When this plant finds conditions that it likes, it can be difficult to contain, and can become rather invasive, putting up suckers from its roots all over the garden.

dangerous 2All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested.


Photographs taken in Picnic Bay 2009, Arcadia 2014
Page last updated 13th November 2018