Clerodendrum trichotomum

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Clerodendrum trichotomum
Clerodendrum trichotomum, Vancouver.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Clerodendrum
C. trichotomum
Binomial name
Clerodendrum trichotomum

Clerodendrum trichotomum, the harlequin glorybower, glorytree or peanut butter tree, is a species of flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India, and the Philippines.[1][2]

It is a large deciduous shrub, growing 3–6 metres (10–20 ft) high. The leaves are ovate, up to 12 cm (5 in) long, soft and downy or hairy, producing a peanut odor when crushed. The fragrant flowers are borne on branching peduncles. They have white petals, held within a green calyx which turns red as the fruits ripen. The fruits (drupes) are white, changing to bright blue and eventually dark blue on maturity.[3] They contain the novel blue pigment trichotomine.[4]

It is cultivated for its fragrant flowers, autumn colour, and ornamental berries. It is hardy but requires a sheltered position. The variety C. trichotomum var. fargesii (Farges' harlequin glorybower) and the cultivar C. trichotomum var. fargesii 'Carnival'[5] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6] (confirmed 2017).[7]


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

Trichotomum is also derived from Greek, and means 'three-forked' or 'triple-branched'.[8]


  1. ^ Wearn, J.A.; Mabberley, D.J.; Bramley, G.L.C. (2019). Clerodendrum. Flora Malesiana. Series I - Seed Plants. Vol. 23–2019. The Netherlands: Naturalis Biodiversity Center. p. 152. ISBN 978-90-6519-019-2.
  2. ^ "Clerodendrum trichotomum". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  3. ^ RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ Iwadare S, Shizuri Y, Yamada K, Hirata Y. Synthesis of trichotomine, a blue pigment obtained from Clerodendron trichotomum Thunb. Tetrahedron. 1978; 34(10):1457-1459. doi:10.1016/0040-4020(78)80166-5
  5. ^ "Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii 'Carnival'". RHS. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii". RHS. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  7. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  8. ^ a b Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). p 111, 385

Further reading[edit]

  • Hillier, J. and A. J. Coombes. The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs. David & Charles. 2007.