Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Clerodendrum splendens G.Don ex James

Frost tender, twining, evergreen climber with opposite, elliptic, entire leaves and dense terminal panicles of salverform, bright scarlet flowers in summer.  To 3m or more.  [RHSE].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A climbing species in the genus Clerodendron, though not altogether a novelty, is sufficiently rare to render the acquisition of the present plant an interesting circumstance, had it no other claims to notice.  But it is, in reality, rich in desirable qualities, and constitutes one of the best climbing stove plants we possess. […] It was found by Mr. Whitfield, an enterprising naturalist, in the woods of Sierra Leone [in 1840], and communicated to Mr. Knight, of the King’s Road, Chelsea, in one of whose stoves it bloomed last autumn.’  [MB p.103/1842]. 

‘There is hardly a more beautiful or useful plant in cultivation than this Clerodendron; for, under good management, its large clusters of brilliant scarlet blossoms are produced in great profusion, and they last a long time in perfection.’  [Gard. Chron. 1854].  ‘A glorious evergreen climber of moderate growth, the flowers produced in terminal corymbose panicles, and are of the richest scarlet.’  [OFG f.156/1854]. 

History at Camden Park

Obtained from the London Horticultural Society.  Included among desiderata in a letter to John Lindley dated 15th February 1848 and marked ‘arrived’ on Macarthur’s copy [MP A2933-1, p.157].  Around the same time Macarthur requested ‘any of the fine sp. except Squamatum’ but they are not recorded as arrived.  Clerodendron splendens was also requested of Loddiges’ on 13th February, 1848 [MP A2933-1, p.172].  Some species of clerodendron appear to have been received from Loddiges’ as Macarthur wrote in a letter dated 1st February, 1849 ‘the Clerodendrons [ … ] multiplied by striking cuttings from them’ [A2933-1, p.185].

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.332/1857].


Also known as Clerodendron.

Published Feb 15, 2010 - 03:43 PM | Last updated Aug 01, 2010 - 03:06 PM

Shown are ovate, pointed leaves and pendant terminal cyme of deep scarlet flowers. Paxton's Magazine of Botany p.103, 1842.

Clerodendrum splendens G.Don ex James | MB p.103/1842 | RBGS

Family Verbenaceae
Region of origin

Tropical west Africa

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Clerodendrum splendens 

Confidence level high