Turk’s Turban

“Turk’s Turban”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

A new plant for the garden.

Last fall, when I attended the Garden Show at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens,  I saw this spectacular, towering herbaceous shrub.  It took a little detective work before finding out it was Clerodendrum indicum or Turk’s Turban, skyrocket, or tubeflower.  Luckily, (for me) they had some for sale and one came home with me.  It was in a gallon pot and about two feet high, so I felt I needed to wait until spring to plant it in the garden.

This spring I planted it, and it grew slowly until about July and then it took off.  I see now why one of its common names is sky rocket.  It was hard taking a photograph of the flowers because of the height.  It is about ten feet high with these huge inflorescence (about 16 inches long) with wonderful creamy flowers.  The flowers are on short tube-like stems and droop down so they are very visible.  The sepals will turn a deep red and remain on the plant through winter, and the seeds are also supposed to turn from green to a metallic blue.  The plant I purchased had the red sepals but not the seeds, so I can’t wait to see the red and blue together.

These plants are only hardy to zone 8, and I think that it may freeze to the ground here.  Even though I am located in south Louisiana, we can get some killing frosts.  I plan on mulching it heavily, like I do some of the other clerodendrum I have.

Butterflies and hummingbirds are supposed to love this plant, but I haven’t seen any hovering around mine, yet.  I am hoping that it continues to bloom until frost.  For an absolutely stunning plant, this towering shrub can’t be beat.

A New Blue

“A New Blue”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

 

Today was my first day back at work after a long vacation.  Of course, when I came home everything needed to be watered since it had been a hot, cloudless day.  As I was watering the plants in the back garden, I received two delightful surprises. 

 

One was a bud on the bird of paradise.  I have been waiting years for that thing to bloom.  I know I have had that plant at least four years and probably it is really more than that.  I have kept it root bound, and did everything I had read to get it to bloom and nothing, that is until today.  I can hardly wait for the bud to open and to share a photo with you.

 

The other nice surprise was the blooming of the Blue Butterfly plant (clerodendrum ugandense).  This is my second summer with this plant, and last year it did not bloom until very late in the fall, and then only sparsely.  Well, today I noticed the first blooms opening.

 

 

The flower is a lovely shade of blue and is supposed to resemble a butterfly.  This is a tropical plant, and here it will freeze but does come back from the roots.  Last year I covered it with about 12 inches of pine straw, and it did come back quicker in the spring which may be why it is blooming earlier this year.

 

 

I have this plant located about fifteen feet from a blue plumbago, and now that the Blue Butterfly plant is in bloom, it makes the plumbago stand out even more.  As I wrote in an earlier post, I just love the true blue colored flowers and wish there were more of them.

 

So, finding these two little presents in my garden made going back to work not so bad.  I wonder what surprise Mother Nature has for me tomorrow to reward me for going back to work.