Iresine lindenii

15 Oct

Iresine lindenii (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Iresine lindenii (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 90cm

Eventual Spread: 90cm

Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11, 12, 13

Family: Amaranthaceae

Iresine lindenii is an evergreen perennial with a bushy, rounded habit. Due to its hardiness this plant, when grown outside, may only be grown as an annual in the UK. Its leaves are red/ purple with red venation and ovate to lanceolate with a simple margin. Its white flowers are held in insignificant terminal spikes. Its fruit is a pendulous globose utricle which contains its seeds.

Iresine lindenii, commonly known as Blood Leaf, is native to Ecuador. In its native habitat it grows near rivers and streams. Iresine lindenii is synonymous with Iresine diffusa f. lindenii.

Iresine lindenii Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Iresine lindenii Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Iresine is possibly derived from the Greek eiros meaning  ‘wool’, referring to the woolly appearance of the seed. Lindenii is named for Jean Jules Linden (1817-1898), a Belgian botanist and explorer famous for his work in culturing orchids.

The landscape architect may find Iresine lindenii useful for its purple leaves as part of a mixed herbaceous planting scheme. It may also be used as a plant suitable for atrium planting.

Ecologically, Iresine lindenii is of little value in the UK.

Iresine lindenii prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Iresine lindenii requires little maintenance.

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