Hydrangea cordata ‘Chameleon’

chameleon or Houttuynia cordata. It is a rhizomatous herbaceous plant, with a remarkably agile growth, making it highly suitable for covering spaces in a short time


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  • 1 Taxonomy
    • 1 Scientific name
    • 2 Common name
  • 2 Origin and distribution
  • 3 Features
    • 1 Leaves
    • 2 Flowers
  • 4 Importance
  • 5 References
  • 6 Source


Scientific name

The genus owes its name to the illustrious Dutch physician and naturist Martinus Houttuyn ( 1720 – 1794 ).

Common name

Cameleon or Houttuynia cordata is a rhizomatous herbaceous plant, with remarkably agile growth, making it highly suitable for covering spaces in a short time. It should not be allowed to grow at its whim, as it has a reputation for being invasive and will own all the land at its disposal if it is not delimited.

Origin and distribution

It is part of a small family called Saururaceae, established by a very small number of genera and species, all of them native to Asia and North America .

The natural place for this species includes Asian countries such as China , Indonesia , Japan , Thailand , Korea and Nepal , where it thrives in the wild in damp, wooded areas or banks of rivers .


  • The Chameleon Plant is known by that name because it is common to find leaves of different colors in the same bush, these can range from intense green to yellow, going through pink, cream, or different shades of red.
  • It composes low-rise colorful rugs, does not exceed 40 cm in size.
  • Indicating its origin it can be seen that it is a plant that needs to have a constantly moist soil; For this you will have to water frequently and thoroughly, never allowing the substrate to dry.
  • The plant will appreciate the additional watering on the leaves in hot periods.
  • It is suitable for growing in large pots or limited areas, but it should always be accommodated in semi-sunny areas or with light shade to maintain its attractive color, in the deep shade it loses the bright hue of its leaves.
  • Never place in full sun, on pain that it is arranged near the water, as in the margins of a pond.
  • It is fertilized with a mild fertilizer for leafy plants every two weeks, from spring to autumn.
  • It has a good tolerance to weak frosts, but young plants are particularly sensitive to intense cold. It loses foliage due to low temperatures, but will reappear in the following season.


The most interesting thing about this plant are its pointed heart-shaped leaves, since the flowering has little ornamental interest and can go almost unnoticed among its beautiful multicolored foliage.


The tiny flowers are densely grouped in short spikes, with pure white bracts. They have a pleasant aroma and appear from mid-summer.


In many areas of Asia the leaves as well as the fresh rhizome are used for food, although the taste of the leaves can be unpleasant if you are not used to it. It reproduces by dividing the rhizomes in spring .


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