Rotheca myricoides (Blue Butterfly Bush) Aka Butterfly Clerodendron, Blue Glory Bower, Butterfly Bush, Blue Wings, Mudas De Clerodendro, Flor de Mariposa, Flor-borboleta, Borboleta-azul, Clerodendro-africano, Clerodendro-azul, or Lagrimas de la Virgen, is a species of flowering plant in the Lamiaceae family. Rotheca myricoides is native to tropical East Africa and is cultivated as an ornamental throughout the tropics and widely cultivated elsewhere. It is a tropical evergreen shrub that grows as a deciduous shrub or herbaceous perennial in zone 9. It grows to 6 feet tall or more. Blue flowers are produced throughout the summer. At zone 8B they begin flowering from late June until first frost. They can take a harsh pruning which can result in another round of more vigorous flowering. Also reliable for zone 9a and south. It is best to be treated as a summer annual in temperate zones. In P.R. it only grows in the mountains. I took this image in southern Florida. It is hardy at USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F), USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F), USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F), USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F), USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F).
The entire shrub is poisonous. The word “myrycoides” stems from from Middle French myriade and directly from Late Latin myrias (genitive myriadis) “ten thousand,” from Greek myrias (genitive myriados) “a number of ten thousand, countless numbers.” “Coides” stems from Latinized form of Greek -oeides, from eidos “form,” related to idein “to see,” eidenai “to know;” literally “to see,”, which relates to its prolific blooming. “Rotheca” was named by Rafinesque in 1838. The name is a Latinization of a Malayalam name meaning “small teak” (from the woody body shrub appearance’)
Rotheca myricoides was thought to belong to the Clerodendrum genus, from Greek ‘kleros’, meaning “fate” or “chance”, and ‘dendrum, meaning “tree”, the whole word meaning “tree of fate”. Nevertheless, In the 20th century, Rotheca was rarely recognized as separate from Clerodendrum. Rotheca was revived in 1998 as a result of phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences. It can easily be distinguished from Clerodendrum by a combination of morphological characters. Now it belongs to the Lamiaceae family.
Rotheca myricoides Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, vol. 135 [ser. 4, vol. 5]: t. 8235 (1909) [M. Smith]