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 Houttuynia subsp. var.  
Houttuynia cordata
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Saururaceae > Houttuynia var. ,

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Houttuynia cordata, the sole species in the genus Houttuynia, is a flowering plant native to Japan, southern China and Southeast Asia, where it grows in moist, shady places.

Houttuynia is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to between 20 and 80 cm. The proximal part of the stem is trailing and produces adventitious roots, while the distal part of the stem grows vertically. The leaves are alternate, broadly heart-shaped, 4-9 cm long and 3-8 cm broad. Flowers are greenish-yellow, borne on a terminal spike 2-3 cm long with 4-6 large white basal bracts.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Houttuynia (M. Houttuyn, of Amsterdam, writer on natural history in 1774-1783). Saururaceae. One oriental species, the Californian species being now referred to Anemopsis (p. 287, Vol. I). H. cordaia, Thunb., is a perennial herb, growing ½ -3 ft. high, from a creeping rootstock. from Himalaya to China and Japan: st. leafy, nearly simple, angular: lvs. alternate, simple, broadly ovate-cordate, 5-nerved: fls. very small, naked, in a short spike; stamens 3; short spike subtended by a corolla-like spathe in 4 ovate spreading white parts. B.M. 2731. G.W. 11, p. 385. — Grows in ditches along waysides, up to 5,000 ft. in India. Perhaps to be recommended for moist places in mild climates.

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The plant grows well in moist to wet soil and even slightly submerged in water in partial or full sun. Plants can become invasive in gardens and difficult to eradicate. Propagation is via division.


Pests and diseases


Houttuynia in temperate gardens is usually in one of its cultivated forms, including: Chameleon (synonymous with H.c. 'Court Jester', H.c. 'Tricolour', H.c. 'Variegata') this variety is slightly less vigorous then the species and has leaves broadly edged in yellow and flecked with red; Flore Pleno has masses of white bracts and the vigour of the parent species.



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