Some 400 species of woody trees, shrubs, and vines. Leaves opposite or whorled, simple. Flowers in terminal or axillary clusters, relatively large, mostly white, blue, violet, or red. Native mostly to the tropics and subtropics, especially in Asia and Africa, at few temperate species.
Clerodendrum: from the Greek, klero, chance, and dendron, tree (some are tree-like), alluding to the unpredictable medicinal properties of plants in this genus.