September's plant of the month

Clerodendron

The air at the end of the long bar is filled with a fragrance so sweet that heads are turning to find the source. But the perfume is not the product of a master perfumer. It is wafting in from a shrub planted close to the opera house.

Clerodendron trichotomum var. fargesii has white, waxy flowers with red bracts that are so delicate they could have been created by Fabergé. In its native China the shrub can grow to 20 feet tall but here at Glyndbourne ours are half that height. To grow well it needs fertile soil and dappled shade.

If you are attending Glyndebourne for a performance of the Tour during October take a look at the fruits that the shrub produces once the flowers are over: they are a striking combination of a bright blue berry surrounded by a dark red seed pod.

Click on the image gallery for each month’s special plant, and return here next month to discover more about our plant of the month for October