Turk’s Turban Tree
Clerodendrum indicum – Turk’s Turban
Other Common Names: Turk’s Turbin, Tubeflower
Clerodendrum indicum is a semiwoody shrub, subshrub, or a small tree, that grows anywhere between 3 to 10 feet or 1 to 3 meters tall. It is listed as an environmental weed in the Global Compendium of Weeds and is inherent in tropical Asian countries such as China, Malaysia, India, and the Philippines. It belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, and is also known Tubeflower, Turk’s Turbin, and Turk’s Turban.
It is slightly branched, with only a few lean branches and hollow stems. The leaves of the Turk’s Turban are large and elliptic, growing anywhere from 6 to 8 inches. They are green and hairless, exhibited in spirals of 3 to 5 leaves per node on short and leafy stalks. They also have prominent mid-ribs and veins. The edges of the leaves are smooth are lanceolate, which means that they are shaped like a lance or spear.
The flowers grow in large clusters, which can be up to 2 feet long. Each cluster consist of several white or red tubular flowers that stem from the tips. The tubes are drooping downwards and are about 3 to 4 inches or 9 to 10 centimeters in length. The flowers have 5 lobes that are round-tipped and long stamens that are reddish.
The flowers are followed by green to dark blue fruits, which are enclosed by a 5-pointed star calyx. The fruits are distinctly round, shiny, and leathery, while the calyces are red, shiny, and pitted. From afar, the clusters of fruits may look like red flowers. With these characteristics, the Turk’s Turban is considered as an ornamental plant in places where it is abundant.