Pagoda Flower   
Foto info
Pagoda Flower
aturalized Photo: C.V. Venugopalan
Common name: Pagoda Flower • Tamil: Krishna Kireedam
Botanical name: Clerodendrum paniculatum    Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena family)
Synonyms: Clerodendrum diversifolium, Volkameria diversifolia

Pagoda flower is an erect, open semiwoody shrub with large evergreen leaves and huge showy clusters of orange-red or scarlet flowers held above the foliage. The plant sometimes has many stems and gets 3-5 ft tall, spreading 2-3 ft across. Oppositely arranged ovate leaves have heart shaped bases; lower leaves are lobed and upper leaves entire. The handsome leaves can be as large as 12 in across. The flowers small, funnel shaped with long tubes. Although the individual flowers are only about 0.5 in long, they are arranged in massive panicles up to 1 ft or more in height, at the end of branches. The flowers within the pyramid shaped cluster are tiered, like a Japanese pagoda. Pagoda flower is native to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and much of southeastern Asia. It was probably introduces in India, and escaped cultivation. It is widely cultivated in tropical gardens throughout the world.

Photographed in Palakkad, Kerala.
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