Bungei and Trichotomum

With those fun words as part of their names these plants have to be special. But what are they? Clerodendrons. This is a species that is represented in our gardens by just a few varieties even though there are about 150 different ones known in the wild, mostly from China and Japan, and they have been in cultivation in Europe for over 250 years. Some can be grown in conservatories and under glass when heated, but Clerodendron bungei and C. trichotomum are the only two reliable for our gardens.

We grow both and enjoy them in several seasons as they have so much to offer. They have interesting foliage, the colours of which vary with the seasons, fine flowers of interesting structure and colours and startling coloured fruits, which all means they have a long season of interest.

The first three photos are of C. trichotomum.

Clerodendron bungei, below, is said by some to smell of peanut butter but by others as smelling of rancid peanut butter or even drains. Perhaps not its best feature!

And what about those two words, bungei and trichotomum? Where do they come from?

Bungei relates to a C19 Russian botanist, Dr Alexander von Bunge and trichotomum means “three branches” but I can’t work out exactly why it is called that.

About greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.
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4 Responses to Bungei and Trichotomum

  1. Val says:

    Love the colours in C. trichotomum 2 and 3!

  2. Judy says:

    I definitely learned something new from you today. And, the second and third pictures are amazing. I’ve never seen anything that striking – wow.

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