Chains of Glory (Verbena family)
Our featured plant this time around is rare, even in cultivation. Clerodendrum schmidtii is a shrub to small tree, multi-stemmed, with a weeping habit. Each winter it grows long, pendent, dark red racemes, eighteen inches long, which fill with delicate white flowers. Fully open, the flowers resemble white butterflies, but each raceme will have many stages of growth present at once, and the unopened buds look like little white pearls. The plant blooms for us right around Christmas time, and the overall look resembles falling snow. It is one of the most delicate blooming plants in our collection.
It is not uncommon for Clerodendron schmidtii to bloom twice in the winter. The blooming cycle is relatively short lived. This is a great example of a plant which you will probably never see outside the context of a botanical garden. Our schmidtii is planted right in front of the bench on the north side of the Koi pond. We dare you to walk by it without taking a picture!
Text by David Troxell