What is starburst bush flower?

What is starburst bush flower? The species is native to New Guinea and the Philippines, where it grows in forests and disturbed areas, often forming a dense grove at low and medium altitude.

Clerodendrum Species, Fire Works, Philippine Glorybower, Shooting ...

The name of the genus is the combination of the Greek terms "kleros" = luck and "déndron" = tree, name given by Johannes Burman (1707-1780), taken from Linnaeus, to a plant that in Sinhalese was called "pinnacola" = unfortunate the name of the species derives from the combination of the Latin terms "quator" = four and "loculus" = locule, with reference to the square ovary.

Common names: fireworks, philippine glorybower, starburst bush, shooting star, winter starburst (English); bagawak-morado (Spanish-Philippines).

The Clerodendrum quadriloculare (Blanco) Merr. (1905) is an evergreen or semi-deciduous shrub, fast growing, up to about 5 m tall, with branches in almost quadrangular sections. The leaves, on a 3-8 cm long petiole, are opposite, simple, ovate to oblong with pointed apex and wavy margins, 115-25 cm long and about 6 cm wide, dark green, opaque superiorly, purple shiny bottom.

Inflorescences, between winter and spring, on globose terminal tops of 15-30 cm in diameter, bearing a multitude of flowers with corolla of five recurrent petals, oblong-elliptical, about 1.5 cm long, white or pinkish white, on a thin tube long 5-8 cm pink. Varieties with variegated green, cream and yellow foliage have been selected.

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The fruits are ellipsoidal drupes, quadrilobed, 1-1.5 cm long, violet, with a persistent red calyx about 1 cm long, containing 4 seeds (one for each lobe).

It reproduces easily by seed, woody cuttings and by root shoots through which it expands rapidly, for this reason, in some tropical countries it is considered invasive. Species of undoubted ornamental value, both for the foliage and for the spectacular flowering, but tendentively invasive if not under control, cultivable in areas of tropical, subtropical and marginally warm temperate climate, in a sheltered position, where it can withstand very brief period temperatures up to about -2 ºC with damage to the foliage, some degree less with loss of the aerial part, but generally it grows again from the roots in the following spring.

It requires exposure in full sun to grow better, it also supports partial shade, but with a more expanded bearing and a less abundant and shorter flowering time, the soil must be well draining, rich in organic, acidic or neutral substance, kept moist, although well rooted plants can withstand short periods of drought. 

It can be used as an isolated specimen or to make borders and barriers or cared for as a tree, it supports pruning well, carried out in spring after flowering. Also cultivable in a pot, in the most luminous position possible, with substrate of the characteristics mentioned above, watering in summer should be frequent, more distant in winter, allowing the substrate to partially dry before re-watering, with minimum temperatures preferably above 14 ºC.

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