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A Floridata Plant Profile #880 Clerodendrum indicum
Common Names: tubeflower, Turk's turban, skyrocket
Family: Verbenaceae (verbena or vervain Family)
Wallpaper Gallery (1 images)

Perennial  Attracts Hummingbirds Attracts Butterflies Flowers

Turk's turban drupe
By December the fruit (drupe) of the Turk's turban has changed from jade green to a unique dark metallic blue.
Turk's turban or tubeflower is a semiwoody shrub or returning perennial, 6-9 ft (1.8-2.7 m) tall and only slightly, if at all, branched. The stem is hollow and the leaves are elliptic and 6-8 in (15-20 cm)long, borne in whorls of four on very short petioles. The inflorescence is huge, consisting of many tubular snow white flowers in a terminal cluster up to 2 ft (0.6 m) long. The tubes of the flowers are about 4 in (10 cm) long and droop downward, and the expanded corollas are about 2 in (5 cm) across. The fruits are attractive dark metallic blue drupes, about a half inch in diameter.

In august the Turk's turban puts forth a huge spike of white tube-shaped flowers inspiring its other common name, "tubeflower". Download a large version of these tubeflowers attractively adorned in dew early on a summer's morning.
Tubeflower is native to the Malay Archipelago. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has become naturalized in South America, the West Indies and much of the southern U.S., where it grows in disturbed sites and especially along road shoulders.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Moisture: Tubeflower likes a moist but well-drained soil.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 11.
Propagation: Propagate tubeflower from seed, from root suckers, or from semiripe cuttings rooted in summer.

turk's turban plant
The tall spindly stems of Turk's turban sprawl and fall if no supports are nearby for it to lean on.
Use tubeflower in mixed shrub or perennial borders. It works well in small groups, but is not suitable for hedging because of its upright, nonbranching habit. The flowers are very showy, but the plant itself is rather coarse and unattractive. It looks best in a cluster with other tall, few branched plants like castor bean (Ricinus communis),scarlet hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus), and sunflowers (Helianthus annuus.

There are some 400 species of Clerodendrum (sometimes misspelled as Clerodendron). Several species are grown for their strikingly beautiful flowers. Flaming glorybower (C. splendens) is a beautiful tropical vine or sprawling shrub with scarlet flowers. Scented glorybower or Cashmere bouquet (C. bungei) is an invasive weed in Florida, listed by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.

Tubeflower can become invasive and make a nuisance of itself.

Steve Christman 10/10/00; updated 11/15/02, 9/7/03

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