Clerodendrum philippinum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Clerodendrum philippinum Schauer

Protologue: in A.DC., Prodr. 11: 667 (1847).


  • Volkmannia japonica Vent. (1798),
  • Clerodendrum chinense (Osbeck) Mabb. (1989),
  • Clerodendrum fragrans auct.,
  • Volkameria fragrans auct.

Vernacular names

  • Glory bower (En)
  • Philippines: pelegrina (Bikol, Tagalog), higantong (Bisaya), sabuka (Igorot)
  • Thailand: naang yaem (peninsular, central), ping son (northern), suan yai (eastern)
  • Vietnam: vậy trắng, mò trắng, bấn trắng.


Possibly originating from China and/or southern Asia. At present widespread throughout the tropics; as a widely cultivated ornamental it tends to escape easily, becoming a weed in suitable climates.


C. philippinum is used in Peninsular Malaysia in a fomentation for rheumatism and ague, or as an ingredient of a mixture for skin problems. In Thailand, the root is considered diuretic. It is used in the treatment of abdominal pain and intestinal diseases and kidney dysfunctions. Uses and vernacular names in Vietnam for this species vary according to the various authors. A decoction of the leaves is used for blenorrhoea. Juice from the leaves is an ingredient of a herbal bath for children with furuncles. The roots are credited with antibacterial and antiphlogistic properties. They are used for a wide range of women’s disorders, skin afflictions, lumbago, hypertension and jaundice. A decoction is externally applied as an antiseptic. The leaves are used in folk medicine as a diuretic and antiblenorrhagic. A decoction of the root is employed as a remedy for jaundice.


  • A shrub up to 2 m tall, branches stout, finely pubescent, leaf scars large and prominent.
  • Leaves broadly ovate, 6-29 cm × 5-28 cm, base cordate to subtruncate, apex sharply acute or acuminate, margin usually coarsely and irregularly dentate, sometimes 1-3-lobed, lightly strigillose-pubescent on both surfaces, petiole 2-24 cm long.
  • Corymb terminal, 3-6 cm × 3.5-9 cm, densely many-flowered.
  • Calyx campanulate, 1-1.5 cm long, deeply 5(-8)-lobed, lobes 4-10 mm long, purple or red, sometimes with white blotches, corolla hypocrateriform, tube 2-3 cm long with lobes 0.8-1.5 cm long, white to pink, fragrant, stamens long exserted, or modified petaloid.

In cultivation the double flowered and sterile form f. multiplex (Sweet) Moldenke is most commonly encountered. Plants with a few single flowers scattered among many double ones are designated as f. subfertile Moldenke. Plants with only single flowers represent f. philippinum. C. philippinum is often confused with the distinct but very closely related C. bungei Steudel. C. philippinum suckers profusely and is found in pastures, roadsides, river banks, thickets and secondary forest from sea-level up to 1200(-2000) m altitude.

Selected sources

  • [74] Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1964—1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1964) 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965) 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968) 761 pp.
  • [135] Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A—H) pp. 1—1240, Vol. 2 (I—Z) pp. 1241—2444.
  • [201] Chuakul, W., Saralamp, P., Paonil, W., Temsiririrkkul, R. & Clayton, T. (Editors), 1997. Medicinal plants in Thailand. Vol. II. Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. 248 pp.
  • [264] Doan Thi Nhu, Nguyen Thuong Thuc, Do Huy Bich & Vu Thuy Huyen (Editors), 1990. Les plantes médicinales au Vietnam. Livre 1. Médicine traditionelle et pharmacopée [The medicinal plants of Vietnam. Volume 1. Traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia]. Agence de coopération Culturelle et Technique, Paris, France. 201 pp.
  • [459] Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M., 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 4 volumes. The MacMillan Press Ltd., London, United Kingdom. 3353 pp.
  • [640] Madaus, G., 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Band 3. und register. [Textbook of biological medicines. Volume 3. and index]. Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim, Germany & New York, United States. pp. 1185—2864.
  • [688] Moldenke, H.N. & Moldenke, A.L., 1983. Verbenaceae. In: Dassanayake, M.D. & Fosberg, F.R. (Editors): A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon. Vol. 4. Amerind Publishing Co., New Delhi, India. pp. 196—487.
  • [739] Nguyen Van Duong, 1993. Medicinal plants of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mekong Printing, Santa Ana, California, United States. 528 pp.
  • [786] Perry, L.M., 1980. Medicinal plants of East and Southeast Asia. Attributed properties and uses. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States & London, United Kingdom. 620 pp.
  • [848] Rueda, R.M., 1993. The genus Clerodendrum (Verbenaceae) in Mesoamerica. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 80(4): 870—890.
  • [1042] Verma, H.N., Rastogi, P., Prasad, V. & Srivastava, A., 1985. Possible control of natural virus infection of Vigna radiata and Vigna mungo by plant extracts. Indian Journal of Plant Pathology 3(1): 21—24.
  • [1130] Zhu, M., Bowery, N.G., Greengrass, P.M. & Phillipson, J.D., 1996. Application of radioligand receptor binding assays in the search for CNS active principles from Chinese medicinal plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 54(2—3): 153—164.

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