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‘Betty Stiles’ Harlequin Glorybower

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(Clerodendrum trichotomum ‘Betty Stiles’)

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As a species, Harlequin Glorybower has a lot going for it – tough and adaptable with exceptional showy, fragrant flowers that bloom throughout the summer followed by showy metallic-looking blue fruit and lipstick-red sepals. The ultimate butterfly tree, it’s sometimes hard to see our tree when it’s blooming with the thick cloud of butterflies fluttering about the canopy. However, as Mike Dirr mentions, Harlequin Glorybower often has the appearance of ‘an overturned Dempster Dumpster’ and it’s rare to find good, cold hardy tree forms. Years ago, Hollis Wild of Appalachian Trees mentioned that there was a particularly nice Harlequin Glorybower growing up in her neck of the woods (Glendale Springs, NC) that was perfectly cold hardy and formed a nice tree. We rooted some cuttings and have been impressed with it ever since. Hollis recommended naming the tree after her neighbor, Betty Stiles, who first recognized the merits of this tree and started sharing it with her friends and neighbors.

One additional bit of advice: If you know Harlequin Glorybower, you are probably aware that it can sucker from the roots much like a sumac. A good way to prevent this is to plant it in a lawn area where any suckers are mowed off or use it in a planter. Not patented or trademarked.