Houttuynia, Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers


Houttuynia, Chameleon Plant
Houttuynia cordata

Houttuynia; cultivar 'Chameleon'
Houttuynia; cultivar 'Chameleon'
The species has green, heart shaped leaves and small white flowers, but is usually not sold. The plant commonly sold in the cultivar 'Chameleon' which has green leaves variegated with red and cream. This cultivar also has small white flowers. Foliage has a spicy, citrus-like scent when touched. 
An extremely durable plant that grows under a wide range of conditions. Full sun to full shade. Average to wet soils, but also tolerates soem dryness. 
  • 'Chameleon'-variegated foliage, green mixed with red, light green and cream; colors best in full sun.
Mature Height
6-12 Inches
USDA Hardiness Zone
5 - 8 
Bloom Color
Bloom Season
May - June
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Shade
Full Sun
Partial Sun/Shade
Foliage Color
Pests and Problems

Environmental Damage

Additional Notes
Can be a very aggressive grower, so may become a problem in small gardens. On the other hand, it is very hard to kill and could be the answer to a difficult planting site.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic