Botanical Name : Clerodendron inerme
Species: V. inermis
Synonyms: Volkameria inermis
Common Names : Glory bower, Wild Jasmine, Sorcerers Bush, Seaside clerodendrum, Clerodendrum, Scrambling; Scrambling Clerodendrum; Harmless Clerodendron; Clerodendron, Harmless
Habitat : Clerodendron inerme is native to India & Malaysia. It is found in Australia, Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands. It usually grows in close proximity to the sea and is often found near margins or on the margins of beach forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the Pacific islands.
Clerodendron inerme is an evergreen mangrove plant, which has found a place in our gardens, is able to thrive near the ocean at the high tide mark, making it a potential weed in the coastal environment. A hardy, straggling shrub, it reaches a height of 9-12 FT with closely arranged, almost round, shiny, deep green leaves. The plant is always in flower. The flowers are white and very fragrant, with spreading five corolla lobes, 1″ long white tubes and long purple stamens. As the specific name implies, the stems are smooth and are devoid of thorns. The plant is not choosy about the soil and can even withstand droughts. Seaside clerodendrum, as its name suggests, grows well along the beach tolerating the salt spray of the ocean and the harsh rays of the sun. It is a versatile plant and can be grown as a topiary or as a bonsai. It is its hardy nature and the closely held bunches and leaves that promoted it into a garden plant. Clerodendrum inerme is a sun loving plant and a sunny spot should be chosen for it. The plant produces suckers and seeds. For making hedges, a large number of well-developed plants are required and, therefore, it is advisable to produce new plants through cuttings. Trimming the plant keeps the hedges in shape and also promotes production of new branches and leaves to fill up the gaps. As flowers are produced at the ends of branches, trimming robs the plant of its flowers. The plants is salt-, heat- and wind-tolerant.
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Description in detalis:
*Stem: Often grows into a rather untidy vine but frequently flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-4 m tall. Vine stem diameters to 3 cm recorded.
*Leaves: Twigs, petioles and leaves glabrous or minutely puberulous. Leaf blades about 3-12 x 1-6 cm, punctate or glandular on the lower surface. Petioles about 0.5-1.5 cm long, grooved or channelled on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming loops inside the blade margin. Twigs usually pale-coloured and petioles dark purple.
*Flowers: Pedicels puberulous, about 3-6 mm long. Calyx about 3-6 mm long, glandular, glabrous or puberulous with a few large nectariferous glands on the outer surface, glabrous on the inner surface, lobes minute. Corolla glabrous and glandular outside, tube villous inside, tube cylindrical, about 15-40 mm long, lobes about 3.5-11 mm long. Stamens exserted, filaments about 15-38 mm long, anthers about 2.5-3 mm long. Ovary glabrous, glandular, about 1.5-2 x 1-1.5 mm, style exserted, glabrous, about 25-48 mm long.
*Fruit: Fruit consists of four nutlets which fit together and are borne on a receptacle like an egg in an egg cup. Fruit about 10-20 x 7-15 mm. Calyx persistent at the base forming a cup about 7-12 mm diam. Cotyledons about 5 mm long, much longer and wider than the radicle which is about 0.5-1 mm long.
*Seedlings : Cotyledons thick and fleshy, about 12-20 x 6-9 mm, gradually tapering into the petioles. First pair of leaves opposite, margins entire or with a few teeth. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate, margin entire or with a few teeth, stem purple becoming pale, terminal bud clothed in pale prostrate hairs. Petiole and midrib purple.
Clerodendron inermesed is used as local medicine in both Kosrae and Pohnpei for a variety of ailments. Known to be used in Samoa as a local medicine as well. The root of Clerodendron inerme is of a more decided bitter taste and strong odor, and is regarded as possessing tonic and alterative properties, and as being useful in venereal and scrofulous complaints. A steam bath (srawuk) of kwacwak is used by women during their monthly menstrual cycle. Used to treat fever, skin rash, flu, headache, infected umbilical cord, eye infections, evil spirit prevention. Can also be added to coconut oil and rubbed into skin.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.