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What is the name of the very fragrant tree in the rock garden?

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2016  |  39 Views
Topics: NYBG Gardens

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The fragrant mystery tree in the rock garden is Clerodendrum trichotomum, commonly called harlequin glorybower tree.

This Japanese native produces tubular, fragrant, white flowers in long-peduncled cymes that bloom in the upper leaf axils from late summer into fall. Flowers are followed by small bright blue fruits, each subtended by a fleshy red calyx. Opposite, toothed to entire, ovate, dark green leaves (5-8 inches long) produce no fall color. When bruised, the leaves produce a unique aroma reminiscent of peanut butter; peanut butter tree is a sometimes-used common name for this plant. Harlequin glorybower is a more frequently used common name. Clerodendrum comes from the Greek words klero (fate) and dendron (tree), hence the infrequently used common name, fate tree.


For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service



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