Common name: Bloodleaf or beefsteak plant
Native to: Brazil
Iresine herbstii, commonly called bloodleaf or beefsteak plant. is native to Brazil. It is noted for its ornamental foliage. This is a short-lived perennial that is often grown as an annual. In its native habitat, it may grow to 5’ tall with spread to 3’ wide. Potted indoor plants grow much smaller, typically being pruned to 12-18” tall. Red stems and oval purple-red leaves (to 4” long) with notched tips and light red veins. Requires sun exposure for best foliage color. Inconspicuous greenish-white flowers. Rarely blooms in cultivation.
Genus name comes from the Greek word eiresione meaning a branch or wreath wrapped with wool in probable reference to the woolly flowers.
‘Brilliantissima’ features purplish-red leaves with pink veins.
‘Aureoreticulata’ features green leaves with yellow veins.
Native / exotic: Exotic
Aspect: Full sun tp part shade
Flowers: Rarely flowers, not showy, greenish-white
Foliage: Evergreen, small shrub,
Growth habit: Upright, small fleshy shrub
Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant
Height: Up to 1 metre
Spread: Up to 50 cm
Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched
Uses: Excellent accent plant as a filer