Chasing The Butterfly Blues

|Clerodendrum ugandense bloom detail|

|Clerodendrum ugandense bloom detail|

There is something sweet and unique about today's provocative plant. Clerodendrum ugandense also known as Blue Glorybower or Butterfly Clerodendrum comes to us from eastern and southern Africa.  In warm climates, like the American South and West coast, it can become a 5 to 10 foot evergreen shrub that has stately green elliptical foliage on arching stems.  In cooler, temperate climates it is deciduous.

|Clerodendrum ugandense bud + inflorescence|

|Clerodendrum ugandense bud + inflorescence|

During the warm months it produces airy sprays of butterfly-like blossoms that range in color from pale blue to violet. Give it full sun , fertile, rich, well-draining soil, and regular moisture and it should provide you with an abundance of flowers.  After a season of growth give it some pruning to encourage bushier growth for the next season.

The look of the Butterfly Clerodendrum is very kinetic.  Get a little breeze going and the 'butterflies' flutter on their arching stems.  I think one important aspect to how we view some plants in nature is motion.  There's something very nostalgic and memory triggering when plants sway in the breeze.  Strangely enough, you may not think of it, but seeing foliage like grasses, leaves, or certain flowers moving in a breeze can transport you back to a memory of being in a field or on a dramatic cliff's edge. That feeling can be one of comfort or exhilaration.  These feelings can bring a sense of calm or positively energize your mood.  Makes you feel alive.  Clerodendrum ugandense is one of those plants that can take you there.  Let it bring you to life.