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Plant of the month, November 2023

September unveils a plant that divides opinions.

Plant of the month for November is Clerodendrum trichotomum

Clerodendrum trichotomum is a love hate “Marmite” type of a plant. It suckers freely, not always an asset in confined spaces, has a fragrance I liken to peanuts others cats pee or similar. Not the best description for a plant of the month UNTIL the autumn.

From the end of august through September its covered in very fragrant (this time pleasant to everyone) white flowers these go on to develop into shiny almost plastic looking blue berries. When I show this picture on my talks nobody believes the fruit are real. The plant is covered with these berries surrounded by their pink calyces. Stunning. Native to China and introduced from about 1880.

Sunlight shining through grasses at the Trewithen Estate in Cornwall

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