Clerodendrum trichotomum fargesii

Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii (340)

Common names:

  • Farges harlequin glorybower (see Farges* below)

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • A strong-growing, large shrub that comes into its own in late summer and early autumn with its very fragrant white flowers, enclosed in maroon calyx, which are followed by bright blue berries that look like jewels in the contrasting setting of the persistent calyces.

Description of plant:

Clerodendron trichotomum var.fargesii flowers in the early days of August and scents the garden with its white flowers, which are shown off so well by the large purple-red calyx. The steel-blue berries which come later make a wonderful display. This shrub is hardy and propagates itself as it suckers freely.

A vigorous deciduous shrub to 6m, with large ovate leaves and highly fragrant white flowers, borne in green calyces which turn crimson as the turquoise berries mature.

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Grow in humus-rich moist soil in a sheltered position in sun or partial shade.

Country of origin:

  • West China

Other interesting information:

  • Clerodendrum: Greek for chance and a tree. Supposed to be an allusion to the variable medicinal qualities of these shrubs, trees and climbers
  • Trichotomum: with three branches
  • Fargesii: named after Pere Farges (see Farges* below)

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

* Father Paul Guillaume Farges (1844-1912) was a French catholic missionary, botanist and plant collector, based for much of his life (from 1867) in China, serving at Chongqing from 1892 until his death. French missionary Père Paul Guillaume Farges made collections of plants in north-east Sichuan, China.

Farges came to China about the same time as fellow missionary and botanical collector J.M. Delavay, in 1867. He is not known to have collected before 1892, however, at which time he was stationed at Chengkou in north-east Sichuan. He remained in these mountains until 1903, during which time he gathered nearly 4,000 species. Among these were Rhododendron fargesii Franch., Decaisnea fargesii Franch. (both named in his honour) and Carrierea calycina Franch.

Farges was later appointed almoner to the hospital in Chongqing and gave up collecting. He died there in 1912.

Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii (744)

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