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Chameleon plant

By: Garden Gate staff
The leaves of chameleon plant are green with margins of red, bronze or yellow and have a pungent odor when they're crushed.

PHOTO: © Jerry Pavia

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Chameleon plant Houttuynia cordata

IDENTIFICATION — Often sold as an ornamental, the leaves of chameleon plant are green with margins of red, bronze or yellow and have a pungent odor when they’re crushed. The plant reaches 6 to 12 in. tall and spreads by underground rhizomes, rooting stems and seeds.

FAVORITE CONDITIONS — It prefers wet soil in sun or shade; in dry shade situations it spreads much slower.

CONTROL — Start digging and keep digging or spray with a nonselective herbicide. If you want to keep some, plant it in a buried container so the roots can’t run.

Published: Aug. 4, 2009
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