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What’s Blooming in Paradise: The glory bower vine gives off a profusion of pretty petals

By Staff | Jul 27, 2016

The glory bower vine is a fast growing vine that is native to tropical regions and the Old World. PHOTO BY Anita Force Marshall

Plant Subject: Glory bower vine (Clerodendrum speciosum )

First impression: Dramatic, exotic, shades of purple and red bell shaped flowers that cascade in multitudes. Its deep red stamens and styles are extra long and showy extending far out from the flowers. Its dark green leaves are heart shaped on a vine that starts out woody then has thin long tendrils that attach itself easily to any surface or protrusion. You can peek at this profusion of pretty petals in your own tropical gardens.

Upon further investigation: The glory bower vine is a show stopper, when blooming there is no passing it by without a closer look. It’s a fast growing vine that is native to tropical regions and the Old World, which is where it derived its name. A bower is a ladies’ private apartment in a medieval castle. Our star must have lots of stories to tell us, being the plant of choice from way back when to twist and twine into a secret garden room for many secret rendezvous.

The glorious flowers start out a tiny bell shapes 1 to 2 inches in amethyst lavender color. Look closely, the bells open and another dramatic red flower emerge with super long filaments that form a curlicue. These double decker blooms are massed in clusters of 19 to 20 flowers making an everlasting impression. These pretty blossoms are plentiful, dense and never ending. No one can resist stopping, touching, smelling or collecting pollen from this beauty.

The evergreen leaves are dark green and shiny. The spiral tendrils that emerge from the vine are thin and long and make our star appear and hang around anywhere she wants to. Prune heavily after flowering or it may take over your garden. It is large and in charge so, you will need substantial support for this vine. I routinely recommend this vine to complement any existing mature hedge. Placing surprises in your garden are always a great way to make everyone smile.

Pros:

Unique colored bloom

Neighbors will oh and ah

Will compliment an existing hedge

May inspire medieval daydreams in your new garden room

Drought tolerant

Noninvasive

Cons:

Can be aggressive grower

Will tire of telling neighbors’ name of vine

Check out your new garden room for unwanted or wanted knights in shiny armor

Non-native

Conclusion: Being beautiful, must be nice, how could anyone say ‘No’ to such a profuse flower? Now we have the perfect flowers to tell all your secrets to in your tropical eye catching garden. Don’t wanna miss this bloomer!

Remember we have a yearly fertilizer restriction during July 1 through Oct. 2. This is a very important mandatory restriction to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff into our precious waterways. Any fertilizing during our rainy season only ends up in our water resources as unwanted algae blooms.