Pagoda Flower
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Pagoda Flower
ative Photo: C.V. Venugopalan
Common name: Pagoda Flower • Kannada: ಕೃಷ್ಣನಕಿರೀಟ Krishnana kireeta • 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 Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, China Southeast, India, Laos, Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nicobar Is., Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam. It is widely cultivated in tropical gardens throughout the world.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Palakkad, Kerala.

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