Clerodendrum thomsoniae

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Clerodendrum thomsoniae
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Clerodendrum
C. thomsoniae
Binomial name
Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Clerodendrum balfourii (B.D.Jacks. ex Dombrain) Dombrain
Clerodendrum thomsoniae var. balfourii B.D.Jacks. ex Dombrain

Clerodendrum thomsoniae is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clerodendrum of the family Lamiaceae, native to tropical west Africa from Cameroon west to Senegal. It is an evergreen liana growing to 4 m (13 ft) tall, with ovate to oblong leaves 8–17 cm (3–7 in) cm long. The flowers are produced in cymes of 8–20 together, each flower with a pure white to pale purple five-lobed calyx 2.5 cm in diameter, and a red five-lobed corolla 2 cm long and in diameter. The flowers are born in cymose inflorescences arising from the axils of the leaves. The leaves, in turn, are arranged opposite to each other and at right angles to the pairs above and below.

An unambiguous common name is bleeding glory-bower; terms like "glory-bower", "bagflower" or "bleeding-heart vine" are also often encountered but can refer to any of the roughly 400 species of Clerodendrum. In some regions it has escaped from cultivation and become naturalised.

It is grown as an ornamental plant for its decorative two-coloured flowers. With a minimum temperature of 10–13 °C (50–55 °F), in temperate areas it requires shelter and a frost-free environment.[3] This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit[4] (confirmed 2017).[5]

Bleeding heart.

The plant was named at the request of Rev. William Cooper Thomson (1829-22 March 1878), a missionary and physician in Nigeria, in honor of his late first wife.[6][7] This plant was very popular during the mid 19th century under the name "beauty bush". It lost favour only when its unusual culture conditions were forgotten. Specifically, its root system must be partially submerged in water most of the time, and it wants very good light.

Closeup of flowers in India


Clerodendrum is derived from Greek and means 'chance tree'.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Clerodendrum thomsoniae Balf.f." Plants of the World Online. The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. n.d. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  2. ^ "Clerodendrum thomsoniae Balf.f." World Flora Online. The World Flora Online Consortium. n.d. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  3. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Clerodendron thomsoniae". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  5. ^ "AGM Plants – Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ Balfour, J.H. Description of a new species of Clerodendron... Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal n.s., 15(2): 233–235, t. 2. 1862.
  7. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. CRC Press. p. 560. ISBN 0-8493-2675-3.
  8. ^ Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). pp 111

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