Java Lava

|Clerodendrum speciosissimum|

|Clerodendrum speciosissimum|

Ever been to Java or Sri Lanka? I have yet to go but in my head I picture some sort of verdant paradise.  Well a few weeks back I was at a plant nursery here in L.A. and while I was looking around I stumbled upon this beauty.  Clerodendrum speciosissimum otherwise known as Java Glory-Bower.  It comes to us from Java, Sri Lanka, and parts of Indonesia.  This shrub is HOT!  Just look at it.  Its luxurious velvet green heart-shaped leaves are far from boring.  Their textured raised pattern and big bold growth give them a lush personality.  The blossoms that this plant produces are spectacular.  Bright tropical blossoms of rich red-orange burst forth from sultry buds in a cone-shaped inflorescence looking like a volcanic eruption.

|Clerodendron speciosissimum fruit|

|Clerodendron speciosissimum fruit|

But wait...the fruit, the fruit that these blossoms produce is visually exquisite.  They look like mysterious orbs of deep green held by cherry red torches.  The contrast is outstanding.  Both flowers and fruit would make for a very exotic cutting in a cool vase.   This plant works well as both an outdoor and an indoor specimen.  Outdoors it likes warm climates, well-drained soil, regular moisture, and part shade to full sun. Look for it, find it, have it.