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Houttuynia cordata

Pronunciation: Hoo-ty-nee-ah kor-day-tah
Family: Saururaceae = lizard's tail family
Common Name: Houttuynia
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 12"
Width to: Indefinite
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid spring
  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid summer
  • late summer
Bloom Description: Flowers are 1/2 in. Wide, 4 petal-like bracts and in lateral, 2 in. Long spikes; flowering june, july, to august.
Soil Type: Moderately fertile, humus rich, moist
Pests and Diseases: Slugs and snails
Propagation: Sow seed in containers in cold frame as soon as soon as ripe. Divide rhizomes in spring. Root softwood cuttings in late spring
Native to: China, japan
Notes for Identification: Stems are red, much-branched and mound-forming. Herbaceous perennial. Ground cover with creeping rhizomes can be invasive in moist soils, but it is less vigorous on drier soils. It can grow by a pond and in up to 4 in. Of water. Leaves are metallic green, 5-veined, 2-3 in. Long, ovate to heart-shaped, entire, alternate and emit an orange or citrus odor when crushed. Use as groundcover or edging in beds, borders, bog gardens, woodland gardens and near ponds wet sites. Fruits and roots are edible. Used medicinallyflowers in small spike with bracts. The species has dark, metallic green, ovate leaves, 2 to 3 in. Long. It grows to 18 in. Tall, while cv. Chameleon only grows 6 to 10 in. Tall. Rootstock clump forming or spreading widely by buried or partially buried stems. Flowers small, white, in 1/2 to one in. Long terminal spikes that are subtended by 4 to 6 greenish white, ovate bracts that resemble a small dogwood. Fruit a capsule with many seeds. Plant info from: michigan state university
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Perennials
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