Locally known by the name Peringalam or Perikilam, Hill Glory Bower is a wild flowering shrub common in Kerala. Its botanical name is Clerodendrum infortunatum and often grows as a weed in the rubber estates of central Kerala.
The flowers or inflorescence look similar to that of a Pagoda plant or Krishnakireedam. Both belong to the same family and genus too. Pagoda plant is also called Kattuperingalam or Kattuperikilam.
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Plant Type: Perennial Shrub
Scientific name: Clerodendrum infortunatum / Clerodendrum viscosum
Height: nearly 6 ft
Leaves: round, heart-shaped
Flowers: 5 white petals
Flowering: post-monsoon, autumn and early winter
English: Hill Glory Bower, Clerodendrum
Malayalam: Perikilam, Perungalam, Oruveran
Pagoda Flower (C. paniculatum)
This perennial bush can grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet giving an erect stance.
The leaves grow directly from the stem. They are nearly 6 inches long and broad. The heart-shaped leaves have small projections on its surface and are rough to touch.
The flowers grow as clusters at the top of the stem. They are arranged in layers around the stem with the base broader and the tip pointed, looking like a pyramid or pagoda. This inflorescence is the main attraction of this plant.
Each flower is 2 to 3 cm wide with 5 petals arranged like a semi-circle. The corolla is white with a pinkish shade inside. There are 5 long stamens.
As the flower withers, it (sepal) gets a pink shade overall. The fruit is dark and round.
The flowering season is from post-monsoon to early winter.
Certain Ayurvedic, traditional, and folk-medicines make use of the plant’s leaves, flowers, or roots to treat various ailments including fever. It is also found to be effective as an antidote. Swami Nirmalananda Giri had done detailed research about its medicinal properties and methods of use. If you are interested, you can find the document on Scribd –
This plant is native to many of the tropical south and southeast Asian countries. It grows well in the wild under shade or sunlight. Although its flowers look attractive, it is rarely cultivated in the gardens.