Erect, bushy, compact perennial with blood-red stems bearing ovate or oblong-lance-shaped, is a good plant to add colour & contrast to sunny and semi shaded areas of your garden.
The generic name is derived from the Greek word εριος (erios), meaning “wooly”, referring to the trichome-covered flowers. Bloodleaf is a common name for those species that have coloured foliage, and these are often cultivated as ornamental plants. Some species are additives to versions of the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.
This is an evergreen, herbaceous plant, growing to about 1 m tall and wide. It has oval, sometimes almost circular, leaves, 2 to 6 cm long, pointed at the tip, with pronounced light red veins. Bloodleaf is planted for its varieties, which can have startling colours and markings, ranging from purple to bright reds, magenta and orange. There are also some green varieties. The small, woolly, mostly white flowers are usually inconspicuous. Good in bright sunlight, they are also attractive in light shade. I. herbstii is damaged by temperatures below freezing, and a sheltered spot is beneficial. The spectacular show of foliage colour is shown throughout the season. Plants prefer fertile soil, but will also grow in sandy soils with good drainage as long as they are not saline. They require regular and copious watering. Easily propagated by cuttings, which root quickly in water, plants can suffer from aphids. Bloodleaf is a highly ornamental plant, popular for its colour and as a groundcover and border plant. It is also often seen as a pot plant. Maintenance requirements are low, but weeding between plants and edge trimming may be necessary.
SIZE: height 35cm. approximate only.
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