Cashmere Bouquet (Clerodendrum bungei), otherwise known as Rose Glory Bower, Mexicali Rose, or Mexican Hydrangea, is a sweetly fragrant summer-bloomer with 6" pink bloom clusters atop dark glossy green heart-shaped foliage. Each beautiful pink flower on this four- to six-foot upright perennial has ray-like petals, a lovely perfume and attracts butterflies; through the mass of pink flowers, numerous more hot pink buds bide their time. The plant is named for Professor Alexander von Bunge, a 19th century Ukrainian botanist.
Mass of foot high Cashmere Bouquet in mid-spring. Detail of flower buds. Arriving in Davis by way of its native China, this member of the mint family is frost-hardy and considered a deciduous shrub, though it doesn't display the expected round shrub form — it's more like a stick with leaves and a beautiful flower head, though pruning close to ground level will create a multi-stemmed shrub; deadhead this plant through the summer for a repeating floral display. Take note that Cashmere Bouquet spreads by underground runners, which make it quite an invasive beauty as it pops up throughout your lawn. The runners can go as far as about 9 feet before resurfacing, but they are fairly thick and don't seem to travel too deeply underground; a 6" soil barrier may be sufficient to control growth. The plant stem is semi-woody, possibly lending to its deer-resistant qualities; ants love this plant though! If you decide to cut some for your home, shake/spray off the ants that are very likely to be crawling throughout the flower cluster.
Cashmere Bouquet prefers partial sun to shade, has average water needs, and seems to thrive in our Davis soil/climate. Propagation can be achieved by division, though simply pulling up a fairly young plant provides adequate success.
For a listing of other plants found growing in Davis, visit our Town Flora.