Clerodendrum floribundum

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Lolly Bush
Clerodendrum floribundum tree.jpg
tree at Mount Archer National Park, Australia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Clerodendrum
Species: C. floribundum
Binomial name
Clerodendrum floribundum
R.Br.

Clerodendrum floribundum, known as the Lolly Bush or Smooth Clerodendrum, is a shrub or tree found in Australia and New Guinea. The habitat is in or at the margins of coastal rainforests, up to 300 metres above sea level. In Western Australia it grows in drier areas; such as rocky sites, gorges, cliffs, floodplains and creek beds.[1]

The leaves may be drawn into a blunt tip, a prickle or a sharp tip. Leaves variable in shape, usually 4 to 15 cm long, 2 to 6 cm wide. The young leaves are not as hairy as with the related Downy Chance. The generic term Clerodendrum is from the Greek. Meaning "lottery tree". Dendros meaning tree. The lottery refers to an unsure possibility of a medicinal value from plants of this genus. The specific epithet floribundum refers to the abundance of flowers in showy heads. The common name Lolly Bush, refers to the similarity of the red and black fruit to lollies.

Usually a small tree, however it has been recorded at 30 metres tall and a stem diameter of 30 cm at Booyong Flora Reserve, in northern New South Wales.[2] White fragrant flowers form in cymes between September and December.

There is some debate whether this plant is found in rainforests of the Illawarra. A.G.Floyd says it is found as far south as Batemans Bay and growing north to Cape York at the northernmost point of the continent. Then west through the Northern Territory and Western Australia.[3] However, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney say records in the far south east may not be accurate.[4] The leaves are host to the caterpillar of the Fiery Jewel Butterfly.

An ornamental species, with red and black fruit. The fruit is a black drupe, growing on an enlarged red fleshy calyx. It appears glossy and succulent, giving rise to the common name.

Regeneration is from fresh seeds or cuttings. An easy plant to grow, requiring plenty of water. In 1810, this species first appeared in scientific literature, in the Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae, authored by the prolific Scottish botanist, Robert Brown. Originally collected on the voyage of Captain Cook's ship, the Endeavour.[5]

several varieties appear in publications, such as:

  • Clerodendrum floribundum var. floribundum
  • Clerodendrum floribundum var. attenuatum
  • Clerodendrum floribundum var. latifolium
  • Clerodendrum floribundum var. coriaceum
  • Clerodendrum floribundum var. angustifolium

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Clerodendrum floribundum". Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 
  2. ^ Floyd, A.G., Australian Rainforests in New South Wales Volume 2 - 1990 ISBN 0-949324-32-9 page 179
  3. ^ Floyd, A.G., Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia, Inkata Press 2008, ISBN 978-0-9589436-7-3 page 171
  4. ^ *"Clerodendrum floribundum". PlantNET - NSW Flora Online. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2011-01-01.