Friday, November 23, 2012

Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'

Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon'
The plain green form of this plant is more commonly known as Vietnamese fish mint, giap/diep ca or phak khao tong in Thailand. Leaves are added to soups, used in salads or in rice paper rolls. As it has quite a strong flavour it has not become well known or popular amongst 'foodies' here. In the world of ornamental horticulture however this 'chameleon' cultivar is regarded as a hardy herbaceous perennial suitable for boggy or wet sites or for brightening shady corners of the garden. It grows across a range of climates forming a dense spreading ground cover and can become invasive in some climates. As the weather warms up it puts on a wonderful display of intensely marked leaves which range in colour from yellow to hot pink and cream. Best kept in a pot with a deep saucer of water underneath or in a pond if you don't want the hard work of keeping it under control.
2017 update: I usually have stock available in early summer.

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