Beauty and Benefits of Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon’

Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon,’ a remarkable and visually captivating herbaceous perennial, has become a sought-after addition to gardens and landscapes worldwide. Its vibrant foliage, unique scent, and medicinal properties make it a remarkable choice for both seasoned gardeners and newcomers alike. In this article, we will delve into the world of Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon,’ exploring its distinctive characteristics, care requirements, and the many benefits it offers.

The Alluring ‘Chameleon’ Variety

Houttuynia Cordata, commonly known as the fish mint, chameleon plant, or lizard tail, is native to Asia and boasts a rich history of culinary and medicinal use. The ‘Chameleon’ variety is celebrated for its eye-catching foliage. This plant’s leaves display a stunning array of colours, from bright greens to deep reds, often resembling the ever-changing hues of a chameleon, hence the name.

Characteristics of Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon’

  1. Foliage: The most striking feature of ‘Chameleon’ is its variegated, heart-shaped leaves that sport a mix of colours. This striking foliage can add a unique pop of color to your garden or landscape.
  2. Flowers: During the late spring and summer, ‘Chameleon’ produces small, inconspicuous white flowers that contrast beautifully with its colourful leaves.
  3. Scent: The plant is known for its distinctive aroma, which is often described as a combination of citrus, fish, and coriander. While some find it unpleasant, others appreciate its unique scent.

Caring for Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon’

If you are considering adding ‘Chameleon’ to your garden, here are some essential care guidelines:

  1. Sunlight: Plant ‘Chameleon’ in partial shade to full sun for optimal growth. However, it can tolerate some shade, especially in hot climates.
  2. Soil: Ensure well-draining soil that retains moisture. This plant thrives in moist conditions and is even suitable for boggy areas.
  3. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid waterlogging. Regular watering during dry spells is essential.
  4. Pruning: To control its spread and maintain its desired shape, trim ‘Chameleon’ regularly. Be vigilant, as it can be an aggressive grower.
  5. Mulching: Applying mulch around the base of the plant helps retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  6. Propagation: ‘Chameleon’ can be propagated through division in the spring. This allows you to create new plants and manage its growth.

Medicinal and Culinary Uses

Apart from its ornamental appeal, Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon’ has a history of medicinal and culinary use. In traditional medicine, it has been used for its potential anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. It is also incorporated into various dishes in Asian cuisine, adding a distinctive flavour to soups and salads.

Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon’ is a unique and visually captivating plant that offers much more than just aesthetic appeal. Its striking foliage, distinctive scent, and potential health benefits make it a valuable addition to gardens and landscapes. Whether you are a seasoned gardener looking for a conversation starter or a beginner seeking an easy-to-care-for plant, ‘Chameleon’ is a colourful choice that can truly transform your outdoor space. Give it the right care and watch it flourish, adding a touch of chameleon-like magic to your garden.

Where to Buy

Houttuynia Cordata ‘Chameleon‘ is available at Hedgehogs Garden Supplies and Services, Crompton Road, Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes, Fife KY6 2SF.  Or call us 01592 859541.