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PlantFiles: Beefsteak Plant, Bloodleaf, Chicken Gizzard
Iresine herbstii 'California'

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Iresine (ir-es-EYE-nee) (Info)
Species: herbstii (HAIRBS-tee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: California

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral macybee On Apr 26, 2008, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Botanica Encyclopedia
Iresine - Belonging to the amaranthus family, these tropical perennials from the Americas and Australia-some 80 species in all-are sometimes treated as annuals. They vary in habit from upright to ground-hugging. The flowers are insignificant and not the reason for which these plants are grown. It is for their often brilliantly colored leaves that they merit attention.
Cultivation: These frost-tender plants only make permanent garden plants in tropical to warm temperate climates where there is no incidence of frost. In cooler areas they can be grown in greenhouses and planted out once all chance of frost has passed. They prefer good loamy, well-drained soil and must be kept moist durining the growth period. They also need bright light, with some sun to retain the brilliant color in their leaves. Tips should be pinched out in the growing season to encourage bushy plants. Propagate from cuttings in spring.
Iresine herbstii syn Iresine reticulata
Beefsteak Plant, Bloodleaf
Native to Brazil, this species makes an attractive tropical bedding or pot plant. Although perennial, it is often treated as an annual that is overwintered as struck cuttings in a greenhouse in cold areas. It grows to 24" tall with aspread of 18", but usually much less if grown as an annual. It has red stems and rounded purple-red leaves up to 4" long, with notches at the tips and yellowish red veins. Garden forms have a range of colors: from bright green leaves with bright yellow veins through to cultivars such as 'Brilliantissima' with its rich purple-green leaves with beetroot-pink veins.
Zones 10-12

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