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HEMIGRAPHIS reptans

Image of Hemigraphis reptans

James Burghardt

Family

Acanthaceae

Botanical Name

HEMIGRAPHIS reptans

Plant Common Name

Redflame

General Description

This low-growing tropical groundcover has glossy, bright green leaves and tiny, white flowers. It is a tender perennial native to the islands of Melanesia in the eastern Pacific that is grown exclusively for its glossy, rounded leaves, which are scalloped along the edges, hairy, and purple-red underneath. In the warmth of summer, the stem tips bear small white flowers in spikes.

Grow redflame in partial sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is very frost tender and will increase its growth rate with warmth, high humidity and ample moisture. It is a very aggressive plant, so grow it cautiously as a groundcover in frost-free areas. In colder climes, it may be grown as a houseplant or annual. Interior specimens require bright, indirect light, high humidity and evenly moist soil. Red flame is beautiful in containers and hanging basket compositions.

This species of Hemigraphis is quite aggressive and considered a prohibited or restricted plant in some locations such as Hawaii. Check with local authorities for planting restrictions. For more information about the invasiveness of red flame see http://www.hear.org/pier/species/hemigraphis_reptans.htm.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    13 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    12"-30" / 30.5cm - 76.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Melanesia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Purple

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    No