Almost everyone is familiar with the traditional European herbs, such as basil, rosemary and parsley. Most keen gardeners are also familiar with Vietnamese mint, Mexican coriander and Thai basil. However there are many more herbs, particularly from Asia, South and Central America and Africa
that add wonderful and unique flavours to international dishes.
Heartleaf (Houttuynia cordata) is a moisture loving herbaceous plant native to China, Japan, Taiwan, Bhutan and Nepal. It is now widely cultivated throughout Asia due to its significance in providing flavour to cooked dishes.
Although normally seen as a squat clumping plant in semi-submerged pots in ponds, it can grow up to 80cm tall in ideal conditions and can vigorously spread laterally from underground stems. Control the size of this plant by growing it in pots.
Stems are red toned and leaves are highly ornamental – heart-shaped
10-15cm long and 5-8cm wide. They are dull green with a purplish tint to its edges.
The summer inflorescence is a short yellowish spike with 4 white bracts.
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