Houttuynia cordata ‘Flora Pleno’

15 Jul

Houttuynia cordata 'Flora Pleno' flower (18/06/2011, London)

Houttuynia cordata ‘Flora Pleno’ flower (18/06/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil:  Poorly drained to wet

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: Indefinite

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Saururaceae

Houttuynia cordata ‘Flore Pleno’ is a deciduous perennial with a spreading habit. Its foliage is chordate, leathery, fleshy and dark green in colour with a simple margin, tinged with purple. In spring it bears spikes of insignificant flowers surrounded by eight or more white oval bracts.

The species Houttuynia cordata is commonly known as the Heart-Leaved Houttuynia and is native to eastern Asia, including China, Japan and the Himalayas. Traditionally it has been used as a cooking herb although there appears to be a great difference in the aroma and flavour between plants sourced in China and those sourced in Japan. The plant also has antibacterial properties.

The etymological root of the binomial name Houttuynia was named for Martin Houttuyn, an 18th century Dutch naturalist, with cordata meaning ‘heart shaped’ in the Latin, in reference to the foliage. ‘Flore Pleno’ is a Latinised phrase referring to the double flowers.

Houttuynia cordata 'Flora Pleno' (18/06/2011, London)

Houttuynia cordata ‘Flora Pleno’ (18/06/2011, London)

The landscape architect may find Houttuynia cordata ‘Flore Pleno’ useful as ground cover in waterlogged areas and at the edge of ponds.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Flore Pleno’ prefers wet poorly drained soils, such as at the edge of a body of water. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

Ecologically, Houttuynia cordata ‘Flore Pleno’ will attract pollinating insects such as butterflies and honey bees.

Houttuynia cordata ‘Flore Pleno’ requires little to no maintenance. If the clumps become too large they may be divided in spring.

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