- Location on Property: Hangout Zone & Avocado Hale
Scientific Name: Clerodendrum quadriloculare, English names: bronze-leaved clerodendrum, fireworks, Philippine glorybower, shooting star, starburst bush
- Region of Origin: Native of New Guinea and the Philippines
- Type: Beautiful & Useful
- General History: In 1753, Carolus Linneaus, father of taxonomy and a botanist, named a group of plants, Clerodendrum, from the Greek words kleros, meaning chance or fate, and dendron, a tree, referring to the variation in reports of their medicinal properties. Revisions in this genus category have been going on until 2010.Clerodendron glandulosum has been used in India for medicine, but the correct name for this genus is Clerodendrum. This genus now falls into the Verbenaceae family, order Lamiales. Estimates of how many varieties vary from 150 to 450.
2) Plant Uses:
As Food: related to mint through the Verbena family
- As Medicine: It is one of many species long in included in the verbena family, Verbenaceae but transferred to the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) – the mint family of flowering plants, based on molecular studies. This genus has a longstanding use in herbalism and folk medicine, usually as an herbal tea. More research is needed on this specific plant in reference to its preparation for medicinal use. Some of the possible medical uses related to plants in the verbena family are:
- May possibly act as a galactagogue (promotes lactation) and possibly sex steroid analog.
- Sometimes used as an abortifacient.
- Verbena is listed as one of the 38 plants used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its effect on health.
- Verbena has long been associated with divine and other supernatural forces. It was called “tears of Isis” in ancient Egypt, and later called “Hera’s tears”. In ancient Greece, it was dedicated to Eos Erigineia.
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: drought-resistant, suitable for xeriscaping.
- Best time to Harvest: It blooms in the winter months with mounds of pink/white flowers forming balls that are 6 to 10 inches across. Under the direst soil conditions, if preceded by cold weather, it may flower without leaves. The best flower display occurs on trees and shrubs with full foliage cover. Depending on individual plants, the flower clusters appear between January and April.
- Sunlight Requirements: Starbursts need full sun for best flowering. Although it will bloom in partial shade, the flowers will not be as numerous and the flowering period is shortened. In full sun, there are approximately 33 intense blooming days.
- Soil Requirements: well-drained, average soils
- Propagation: The species is easily propagated by cuttings, seeds, and root suckers.
- Controlling Spread: Invasive Species Compendium C. quadriloculare is a highly invasive perennial shrub. It produces large amounts of viable seed and can also grow rapidly by sprouts and root suckers. Seeds are mostly dispersed by birds and other animals.
- After flowering, starburst can be heavily pruned to remove 50% or more of its wood. This will not inhibit next season’s flowering. This will bring a multitude of suckers and shoots. Hand pull the suckers to keep it bush size for better spread control.
- Difficulties with this plant: This species is listed as an invasive plant in Hawaii.