Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Clerodendrum laevifolium Blume

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Eudicots
Order:Lamiales
Family:Lamiaceae
Genus:Clerodendrum
Species:C. laevifolium
Common Names:Swaddling Flower
Status:Common

Description

This is a shrub or small slender tree that grows up to 5–7 m tall. Its simple, opposite leaves are narrowly elliptic with a long tip and appear crinkled. The leaves are usually seen as unequal pairs growing on slender twigs, with leaves on the underside of twigs being larger than those on the upperside. This is probably such that the upper leaves would not shadow the lower leaves from sunlight. The twigs are squarish in cross section.

It bears light yellow flowers with fairly long corolla tubes.

Its drupe-like fruits turn from green to black when mature and are seated on a distinct red (sometimes white), fleshy, star-like calyx.

Read more about the Lamiales order.
Read more about the Lamiaceae family.

Localities

Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve

General Biology

It grows commonly throughout open countries and secondary forests as well as in lowland and montane forests.

Once plucked, the shoots will wilt quickly.

Life Cycle

The flowers are pollinated by insects such as bees and butterflies which can reach the nectar at the base of its rather long corolla tube.

The berries are eaten, and are likely to be dispersed, by birds.

Ecological Role

It is the host plant for caterpillars of the butterfly, Zeltus amasa maximinianus (Fluffy Tit).

Other Resources

Butterflies of Singapore. Life History of the Fluffy Tit. http://butterflycircle.blogspot.com/2008/10/life-history-of-fluffy-tit.html. (Accessed on 17 Aug 2011).

References

Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Corner, E.J.H., 1988. Wayside Trees of Malaya. Third Edition. Volumes 1-2. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 861 pp.

Keng, H., 1990. The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press, Singapore. 222 pp.

Tan, H. T. W., 2011. Lamiaceae. P. 357. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

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