Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Clerodendrum wallichii
(Wallich's glorybower)



Clerodendrum wallichii (Wallich's glorybower)


  • Last modified
  • 13 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Clerodendrum wallichii
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Wallich's glorybower
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. wallichii is a tall ornamental shrub with pendulous white flowers, listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds as ‘naturalised’, ‘cultivation escape’ and ‘weed’ (...

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Clerodendrum wallichii Merr.

Preferred Common Name

  • Wallich's glorybower

Other Scientific Names

  • Clerodendrum laevifolium Blume
  • Clerodendrum nutans Wall. ex D.Don
  • Clerodendrum penduliflorum Wall. ex Schauer

International Common Names

  • English: bridal veil; nodding clerodendron; Nutan bleeding heart; white clerodendrum
  • Chinese: chui mo li

Local Common Names

  • Dominican Republic: guirnalda de novia
  • Fiji: vutu
  • India: bolungre; Horrandieng; samapul
  • Japan: kurrindo
  • Myanmar: kinmauk-ka-gyi; ngayan-padu; pan-swelwe
  • Puerto Rico: bandera danesa
  • Sweden: slöjklerodendrum

Summary of Invasiveness

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C. wallichii is a tall ornamental shrub with pendulous white flowers, listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds as ‘naturalised’, ‘cultivation escape’ and ‘weed’ (Randall, 2012). The species is distributed beyond its native range and reproduces by seeds but not by root suckers like some other Clerodendrum species. The species received a low score of 3 in a PIER risk assessment of its risk of introduction (PIER, 2014), and is currently a low risk species. However, monitoring of the species is suggested, considering the invasive threat of other members of this genus.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Lamiales
  •                         Family: Lamiaceae
  •                             Genus: Clerodendrum
  •                                 Species: Clerodendrum wallichii

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Most members of the Lamiaceae genus Clerodendrum are native to the Old World tropics, but many have been cultivated and introduced as ornamentals elsewhere. The genus consists of approximately 400 species (Armitage, 2001; Acevedo-Rodriguez, 2005), although this number has now been reported to be closer to 180, as much taxonomic confusion in the past has resulted in thousands of misnamed and synonymous specimens (Wearn and Mabberly, 2011). The genus name Clerodendrum derives from the Greek words ‘kleros’, meaning ‘chance’, ‘lot’, or ‘fate’, and ‘dendron’, meaning ‘tree’, likely referring to the numerous and sometimes doubtful medicinal qualities that have been associated with these shrubs, trees and climbers (Stearn, 1992; Armitage, 2001; Quattrocchi, 2012).

The species name ‘wallichii’ is in honour of Nathaniel Wallich (1786-1854), originally Nathan Wolff, Danish botanist who made immense contributions to knowledge of the Indian flora through his work as a surgeon and later superintendent of the botanic garden in Calcutta (Stearn, 1992). Wallich described the species in 1829 by the name Clerodendrum nutans, and in 1952 Elmer Merrill renamed the species to its current name, Clerodendrum wallichii, because the name had been previously used by Jack in 1820 (Rueda, 1993; ITIS, 2014). The Plant List (2013) gives C. wallichii as a synonym of Clerodendrum laevifolium Blume, but USDA-ARS (2014) uses C. wallichii Merr.

The common name Wallich’s glorybower also honours Nathaniel Wallich. Other common names come from the appearance and position of the flowers, which hang down over the leaves.


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Shrubs or small trees, 2-4 m tall, erect. Branchlets 4-angled, possibly winged, glabrous. Petiole ca. 1 cm; leaf blade oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 11-18 x 2.5-4 cm, subleathery, glabrous, base narrowly cuneate, margin entire, apex acuminate to acute; veins 7 or 8 pairs, adaxially slightly distinct. Inflorescences pendent thyrses, 20-33 cm, glabrous, axis and peduncle 4-angled or winged; bracts small, linear to awl-shaped. Calyx red to purple, ca. 1 cm, tube very short; lobes ovate-lanceolate, 7-8 mm. Corolla white, tube ca. 1.1 cm; lobes ovate, 1.1-1.5 cm. Stamens and style exserted. Fruiting calyx red to purple, inflated, thickened. Drupes yellow-green when young, black and shiny at maturity, globose, 1-1.3 cm in diameter (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Plant Type

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Seed propagated


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Members of the Clerodendrum genus are most abundant in Africa and Asia, although a few native species occur in the New World, many more being cultivated and naturalized (Rueda, 1993). The species C. wallichii is cultivated in the tropics and subtropics as an ornamental, and is native to southern Asia from the Himalayas to southern China, south into Indochina, the Nicobar Islands, and northeast into Pakistan, while in Mesoamerica, the species has been collected in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica (Rueda, 1993). In the West Indies, the species is exotic in Hispaniola and naturalized in Puerto Rico (Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012), but is absent in other Neotropical floras such as Funk et al’s (2007) flora of the Guiana Shield and Forzza et al’s (2010) flora of Brazil. The species is not in Oviedo-Prieto et al’s (2012) work on Cuba although specimens had previously been collected in the early 20th century (Smithsonian Institute collections).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013; USDA-ARS, 2014
BhutanPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013
ChinaPresentNativePIER, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014
-GuangxiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
-TibetPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
IndiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeRueda, 1993
-AssamPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013; USDA-ARS, 2014
-GujaratPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
-MaharashtraPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
-ManipurPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013; USDA-ARS, 2014
-MeghalayaPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013
-MizoramPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013
-SikkimPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013; Nepal Checklist, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014
-TripuraPresentNativeDeori et al., 2013
-West BengalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
MyanmarPresentNativeKress et al., 2003; Deori et al., 2013; USDA-ARS, 2014
NepalPresentDeori et al., 2013; Nepal Checklist, 2014
PakistanPresentNativeRueda, 1993
SingaporePresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedChong et al., 2009
ThailandPresentDeori et al., 2013
VietnamPresentNativePIER, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiPresentPIER, 2014Kaua‘I I, O’ahu I

Central America and Caribbean

Costa RicaPresentIntroducedRueda, 1993
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedRueda, 1993
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedRueda, 1993
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Naturalized


Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2014Cultivated. Rarotonga I.
FijiPresent only in captivity/cultivationFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014; PIER, 2014

History of Introduction and Spread

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Beyond its native range of southern Asia, C. wallichii has been introduced to tropical regions of the world for ornamental purposes. Date of introduction to the West Indies is uncertain, but the species appears to have been a recent introduction to Puerto Rico; it was not included in Bello’s works of Puerto Rico (1881; 1883), Urban’s work on the West Indies (1903-1911), or Britton and Wilson’s survey (1923-1926), but as of 2000 the species has now been reportedly naturalized after cultivation (Liogier and Martorell, 2000; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012). The species was present in Cuba by 1906 (SI collections). The species was not reported by Macfadyen in his 1837 work on Jamaica, Britton’s flora of Bermuda (1918), or Britton and Millspaugh’s work on the Bahamas (1920)

Risk of Introduction

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C. wallichii is considered a low risk and received a low score of 3 in its PIER risk assessment (PIER, 2014), although this assessment considered the species not naturalized beyond its native range, and it is known to be naturalized in Puerto Rico (Liogier and Martorell, 2000; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012). The species is listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds (Randall, 2012), but it does not have some of the invasive characteristics some other Clerodendrum members have, such as the ability to spread by root suckering. For these reasons the risk of introduction for this species is currently low but monitoring is recommended.


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In China, where C. wallichii is native, the species can be found in open forests on mountain slopes (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Habitat List

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Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details

Biology and Ecology

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Reproductive biology

Pollination in Clerodendrum is mostly carried out by butterflies, moths, and bees, which extract the nectar from the base of the corolla tube (Rueda, 1993).


In southern Florida, the nectar of C. wallichii has been observed to be eaten by carpenter ants (Koptur and Truong, 1998).

Environmental requirements

The species is native to temperate and tropical Asia but has been introduced beyond its native range to regions with similar climates. Regarding elevation requirements, in its native China, the species reportedly occurs at altitudes ranging from 100-1200 m (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). In Nepal the species occurs between 450-900 m (Nepal Checklist, 2014), and in Fiji the species is cultivated primarily at sea level (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). In Mesoamerica C. wallichii can grow very near sea level and also at altitudes of 700-900 m (Flora Mesoamerica, 2014), although specimens have been collected at 650 m in El Salvador and 1130 m in Costa Rica (Rueda, 1993).

Members of the Clerodendrum genus generally occur at lower elevations and are mostly distributed in lowlands with fewer occurrences in mountains (Rueda, 1993).



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Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Soil Tolerances

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Soil texture

  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Camponotus Parasite not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In southern Florida, the nectar of C. wallichii has been observed to be eaten by carpenter ants (Koptur and Truong, 1998).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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C. wallichii reproduces by seeds encased in dark purple drupes, which are eaten by birds (Rueda, 1993). Humans have also intentionally spread the species for use as ornamentals. 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Digestion and excretionSpecies produces seed-bearing fruit which are eaten by birds Yes Yes Rueda, 1993
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes Yes Randall, 2012
Medicinal useUsed in traditional medicine in India Yes Deori et al., 2013
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2014

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Host and vector organismsBirds eat fruit and disperse seeds Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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Cultural/amenity Positive
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

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Regarding its potential negative impact on native systems, in the Bonin Islands, Japan, C. wallichii received a score of 5 on the Hawaiian weed risk assessment (WRA) system, was recommended to reject for import by a second screening, and was determined a minor pest on the islands, having minor effect on native ecosystems (Kato et al., 2006). The species is also known to be a cultivation escape and weed (Randall, 2007).

Social Impact

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C.wallichii has reported beneficial use as a vegetable and in folkloric medicine among communities in India, where the species is native (Deori et al., 2013). It is also known and cultivated in the tropics as an ornamental.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately


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C. wallichii has been intentionally spread for use as an ornamental due to its showy, white flowers. In India, the species is used as food and medicine; among rural Khasi and Jaintia tribes in Meghalaya, the leaves are eaten as a vegetable, and in Mao Nagas of Manipur, its leaves are pounded with slaked lime and applied on skin infections (Deori et al., 2013).

Uses List

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  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore


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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, 2005. Vines and climbing plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 51:483 pp.

Acevedo-Rodríguez P; Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.

Armitage AM, 2001. Armitage's manual of annuals, biennials, and half-hardy perennials. Portland, OR, USA: Timber Press.

Bello D, 1883. [English title not available]. (Apuntes para la flora de Puerto Rico. Segunda parte. Monoclamídeas.) Anales de la Sociedad Española de Historia Natural, 12:103-130.

Bello Espinosa D, 1881. [English title not available]. (Apuntes para la flora de Puerto Rico. Primera parte.) Anal. Soc. Española de Hist. Nat, 10:231-304.

Britton NL, 1918. Flora of Bermuda. New York, USA: Charles Scribner's Sons. 585 pp.

Britton NL; Millspaugh CF, 1920. The Bahama Flora. New York, USA: NL Britton & CF Millspaugh.

Britton NL; Wilson P, 1923. Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands Vol. 5, Part 1. New York, USA: New York Academy of Sciences, 626 pp.

Chong KY; Tan HTW; Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, 273 pp.

Deori C; Roy DK; Talukdar SR; Pagag K; Sarma N, 2013. Diversity of the genus Clerodendrum Linnaeus (Lamiaceae) in Northeast India with special reference to Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam. Pleione, 7(2):473-488.

Flora Mesoamericana, 2014. Flora Mesoamericana. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.

Forzza R, 2010. List of species of the Flora of Brazil (Lista de espécies Flora do Brasil).

Funk V; Hollowell T; Berry P; Kelloff C; Alexander SN, 2007. Checklist of the plants of the Guiana Shield (Venezuela: Amazonas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro; Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana). Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 584 pp.

ITIS, 2014. Integrated Taxonomic Information System.

Kato H; Hata K; Yamamoto H; Yoshioka T, 2006. Effectiveness of the weed risk assessment system for the Bonin Islands. In: International Conference on Assessment and Control of Biological Invasion Risks [ed. by Koike, F. \Clout, M. N. \Kawamichi, M. \Poorter, M. De \Iwatsuki, K.]. Kyoto, Japan: Shoukadoh Book Sellers, 65-72.

Koptur S; Ni Truong, 1998. Facultative ant-plant interactions: nectar sugar preferences of introduced pest ant species in south Florida. Biotropica, 30(2):179-189.

Kress WJ; Defilipps RA; Farr E; Kyi DYY, 2003. A checklist of the trees, shrubs, herbs, and climbers of Myanmar. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 45:1-590.

Liogier HA; Martorell LF, 2000. Flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands: a systematic synopsis, 2nd edition revised. San Juan, Puerto Rico: La Editorial, University of Puerto Rico, 382 pp.

MacFadyen J, 1837. The flora of Jamaica: A description of the plants of that island. London, UK: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, 351 pp.

Nepal Checklist, 2014. Annotated Checklist of the Flowering Plants of Nepal. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.

Oviedo Prieto R; Herrera Oliver P; Caluff MG, et al. , 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1):22-96.

PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.

Quattrocchi U, 2012. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology [ed. by Quattrocchi, U.]. London, UK: CRC Press Inc., 3960 pp.

Randall RP, 2007. The introduced flora of Australia and its weed status [ed. by Randall RP]. Glen Osmond, Australia: CRC for Australian Weed Management, iv + 524 pp.

Randall RP, 2012. A Global Compendium of Weeds. Perth, Australia: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, 1124 pp.

Rueda RM, 1993. The genus Clerodendrum (Verbenaceae) in Mesoamerica. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 80(4):870-890.

Stearn WT, 1992. Stearns dictionary of plant names for gardeners: A handbok on the origin and meaning of the botanical names of some cultivated plants. London, UK: Cassell.

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Urban I, 1903-1911. Florae Indiae Occidentalis. In: Symbolae antillanae [ed. by Urban, I.].

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center.

Wearn JA; Mabberley DJ, 2011. Clerodendrum (Lamiaceae) in Borneo. Systematic Botany, 36(4):1050-1061.

Links to Websites

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Catalogue of Seed Plants of the West Indies
Check list of Myanmar Plants


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22/8/2014 Original text by:

Marianne Jennifer Datiles, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Distribution Maps

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