Houttuynia cordata from Mary

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What is this very invasive, hard to kill, very odiferous when pulled plant grown in dry, loamy soil in partial sun and can it be destroyed?

Hi Mary,

I kind of like this plant, but I have seen it spread uncontrollably. It is usually called chameleon plant, Houttuynia cordata, and it is often planted as an ornamental and it also has edible uses.  It is native to southeast Asia.
Please see this site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houttuynia_cordata

It is in an uncommon family, the Saururaceae, very closely related to Piperaceae which contains our black pepper plants. We also have a native plant related to this called lizard’s tail.  It has several nice cultivars with various colors on the leaves.  Roundup will kill it. It has very deep rhizomes so it can be hard to dig up.


Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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