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Houttuynia cordata

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hoo-TY-nee-ah kor-DAY-tah
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Chameleon Plant is a aggressive groundcover with a creeping habit that spreads by rhizomes.  It grows one to two feet in height and can continuously spread along the ground as it grows.   It is very shade tolerant but not drought-tolerant, preferring moist soil to shallow water (1-2 in.) This plant can become problematic to remove once established.  If you choose to use this plant put it in  a 1 to 2-gallon container in the ground, or an area bounded by sidewalk or driveway to contain it.

Cordata is Latin for heart-shaped referring to leaves.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Chameleon'
    synonymous with 'Variegata' or 'Tricolor' leaves of red, pink, yellow, cream
  • 'Plena'
'Chameleon', 'Plena'
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#container plant#weedy#fragrant leaves#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#summer flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Chameleon'
    synonymous with 'Variegata' or 'Tricolor' leaves of red, pink, yellow, cream
  • 'Plena'
'Chameleon', 'Plena'
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#container plant#weedy#fragrant leaves#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#summer flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Houttuynia
    Species:
    cordata
    Family:
    Saururaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Edibility:
    This plant is consumed in areas of the Far East
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Water Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny flowers are on spikes surrounded by four white bracts.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Blue green ovate to cordate simple leaves with entire margins. Leaves may be aromatic if crushed
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy