Friday, September 17, 2010

Harlequin Glory Bower

This is the fall seed display on our Harlequin Glory Bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum) off the front porch.  Late summer the fragrance from the pinkish-white blossoms made porch sitting an out-of-body experience, then this entertaining and remarkable seed display begins. 

Harlequin Glory Bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum)

Harlequin Glory Bower (Clerodendrum trichotomum)
We "discovered" this little tree while doing our Great Fig Tree hunt throughout Hampton Roads in 2000 (a fun frolic put on by our nursery, Paradise Nursery, and our late friend and garden writer, Bob Stiffler).  Driving out to check on a fig tree entry, I spotted a Glory Bower planted out next to the curbing of a front yard.  I was entranced. 

It took a while to find one - they don't seem to be common in the nursery trade.  Mine has been completely easy to grow.... in fact, it's one drawback is that those lovely seeds sprout very readily and I devote lots of time to talking folks into taking one home from our garden.  I hate to weed and toss something with this much potential.

Which means if any of you Useful Gardens friends are looking at these photos wistfully, thinking how nice this would look in your own lovely gardens..... COME GET A SEEDLING!!!!

Glory, glory, hallelujah!


  1. I have two of these trees growing in my courtyard garden. I got the seedlings from my mother-in-law. She always called it the "General Mills Tree" because when you rub the leaves they smell like Cheerios. Others have said they think the leaves smell like chocolate. I love our Glory Bower trees and you're right - they pop up everywhere in the garden. I'm always offering them to anyone who visits.

  2. Hi, Charles! It lists as inedible. It has reputed anti-inflammatory medicinal properties that have been researched at the NIH, National Institute of Health, but I haven't seen anything that indicates it is actually in use. I'd view it with caution. Of course, it's been my experience that any plant, like the Glory Bower, that self-seeds and reproduces itself cheerfully whenever I don't really want it to, will stop seeding immediately and possibly even die smack on the moment if I find I have a super-duper use for it. Sheer cussedness.


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