Iresine Species, Beefsteak Plant, Chicken Gizzard, Herbst's Bloodleaf

Iresine diffusa f. herbstii

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Iresine (ir-es-EYE-nee) (Info)
Species: diffusa f. herbstii
Synonym:Achyranthes verschaffeltii
Synonym:Iresine herbstii
Synonym:Iresine reticulata
Synonym:Iresine verschaffeltii
View this plant in a garden



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:




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)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Cottondale, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Carlsbad, California

Huntington Beach, California

Monrovia, California

San Marino, California

Santa Barbara, California

Vista, California

Bartow, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Miami, Florida

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

West Palm Beach, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Broxton, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Kihei, Hawaii

Gas, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas

Geismar, Louisiana

Independence, Louisiana

Saint Peters, Missouri

Southold, New York

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Catawba, South Carolina

Brazoria, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

Houston, Texas

Katy, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Snook, Texas

Logan, Utah

Falls Church, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 6, 2014, jeroc from Catawba, SC wrote:

A great plant in either Sun or part shade. The variegated red colored leaves compliment other plants. It needs to be pinched back often to keep from getting leggy, then just root these easily for more plants. I live in the piedmont area of South Carolina so I take a plant or two inside for the winter.


On May 5, 2009, bugraooo from Port Saint Lucie, FL wrote:

Bought as a potted plant in the fall. It's been kept in the shade of my screen room. It did well here over the winter, had numerous tiny white flowers. Now it is thinning out. I am in the process of transplanting to a dappled sun area, hoping it will thrive again.


On Mar 23, 2009, teamarnold from Missouri City, TX wrote:

I planted this last September from a small nursery pot and now, 6 months later, it is a 3' tall and wide bushy plant. It did fabulous over the winter months, we'll see how it handles the heat and humidity but so far it is an outstanding plant.


On Aug 11, 2008, Wim from Soest,
Netherlands wrote:

This plant grows very well in Holland. From may until august you can keep it outside. From september until april you have have to grow it indoor.

There is a very interesting website about Iresine.


On Jan 22, 2008, zak1962 from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

Love this plant here in Pittsburgh, PA. I've used it to good effect with Kong Coleus in a couple pots on my (primarily) shady front porch. It get's a little morning sun and thrives like you wouldn't believe. I have to start cutting it back in early July so as not to overwhelm the Coleus. Check it out in my pictures to the left.


On Sep 12, 2007, eden100 from Edinburg, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

Fabulous plant. I am more impressed with the one the dogs smashed because it grew back bushier, a very nice sprawling habit. The stems are smooth and and a beautiful shade of hot pink. I have grown in it dappled light and part sun. The leaves will fade to yellow if it gets harsh sun but it sort of appears verigated that way. It needs no special attention. I plan to dig it up and bring it inside to see what happens and plant more next year for extra color and interest.


On Mar 14, 2005, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

We have had this plant in our garden for several years and trim it every once in a while just to keep it in shape.....we stick the trimmed parts in the ground and they will root in a short time. We do not give these plants any special care. The foliage is gorgeous among other plants, specially the contrast with black taro is stricking.


On Aug 10, 2004, Gareimah from Houma, LA wrote:

i live in houma la. and we love this plant it takes care of its self and even makes it thru our winters here . it is great to plant under low trees for more color to your yard and everybody will comment on how beautiful it looks...


On Sep 3, 2003, Cyndi1 from Atlanta, GA wrote:

I used Bloodleaf this summer in my Atlanta garden as an underplanting to Guara. The deep red of the Bloodleaf with the pale pink flowers and pale green stems of the Guara is lovely. Visitors always comment on how pretty the Bloodleaf is. The plant is extremely hardy; in fact, I find that it needs "grooming" almost weekly as it grows so fast. I will definitely use it again.


On Sep 2, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio,TX
I have grown this plant as an annual for 3 years trying them out in various locations. The ones used in hanging baskets were okay because as the plant grew and they toppled over they looked okay. The ones planted in the ground in pure shade have required constant staking due to any strong wind or rain, squirrels, and cats knocking them over into a sprawling mess. Obviously, they needed more light. The ones planted in containers have had to be moved as the sun position changes because the color fades if any direct sunlight hits them. The colors are fantastic, but I will not buy them again. I must be doing something wrong; however, I have tried every light condition, different soil types, different types of fertilizer, pruning, etc. The plants have never been anything b... read more


On Jan 25, 2003, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Iresine is a short lived and tender perennial grown primarily for it's striking foliage. Grow as you would a bedding annual and root stem cuttings to winter over indoors. It also is makes a colorful addition to container plantings.