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Houttuynia cordata

Saururaceae
Deciduous, Ground covers, Perennials, Aquatic

Native from Japan south and east to the mountains of Java and Nepal. Spreading, underground stems send up a 9-in.-high blanket of foliage. Heartshaped green, 3-in.-long look very much like those of English ivy (Hedera helix). Foliage emits an odd scent when crushed, reminiscent of orange peel. Inconspicuous clusters of white-bracted flowers are like tiny dogwood (Cornus) blossoms. This unusual ground cover disappears completely in winter, even in mild climates. Spreads aggressively in wet soil.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’
Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’

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'Chameleon'

From China, Japan. Grows 9 in. tall, spreads by runners. Leaves are variegated green, reddish, cream, and pink; fully deciduous.

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