This is my favorite burst of winter color and it has finally bloomed, the cold snap slowed it down, then the rain slowed it down. I have been waiting (somewhat patiently) for the full flower. Here is the next phase:
And finally the full Starburst effect:
The Latin name for this plant is Clerodendrum quadriloculare. This is an interesting group of plants, ranging in size from vines to perennials then shrubs up to small trees. Mostly native to tropical South Asia and with a tendency towards creepy habits you must be careful who among them is invited into your garden. I have seen some gardens overrun by a perennial orange version of Clerodendrum which is beautiful but really creepy.
I am glad to have this shrub in my garden, I think of it as a Tropical Rhododendron, and it is so much easier to grow than the cursed Rhododendrons (my former garden had heavy clay that was impossible to grow Rhodos in) The coarse textured leaves have an added bonus of deep plum colored backsides which make the foliage attractive year round.
So far the Winter Starburst has not exhibited any bad behavior, I have sited it in the prescribed partial shade, but the soil like substance in my garden isn’t given to over production of anything except Heliconias as of yet.