Iresine rhizomatosa

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: bloodleaf 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Amaranthaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade

Culture

Easily grown in moist to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Spreads by rhizomes.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Iresine rhizomatosa, commonly called woodland amaranth or Juda’s bush, is a dioecious rhizomatous perennial herb of the Amaranth family that typically grows to 2-4’ tall. It is native to low woods, floodplain forests, wet woodlands, bluff bases, thickets near streams and along stream banks from Maryland to Kansas south to Texas and Virginia. It features erect usually unbranched stems clad with thin, simple, opposite, ovate to ovate-lanceolate leaves (to 6” long and to 3” wide) with pointed tips. Leaves are deep green above and light green beneath. Minute, creamy white to silver-white flowers (1/4” long) bloom August to October in many-flowered, spike-like, axillary and terminal inflorescences (panicles to 12” long). Plants are dioecious (male and female flowers are on separate plants), with the pistillate inflorescences being narrow pyramidal and the staminate inflorescences being thin panicles. Sepals of the pistillate flowers are subtended by long white hairs (to 1/4” long). Pistillate flowers give way to round indehiscent utricles, each containing one brownish-red seed.

Genus name comes from the Greek word eiresione meaning a branch or wreath wrapped with wool in probable reference to the woolly flowers.

Specific epithet is in reference to plant rhizomes.

Plants in the genus Iresine often carry the common name of bloodleaf which is very descriptive of the blood red leaves of some genus plants native to the tropics and often grown as ornamentals (e.g., I. herbstii and I. lindenii), but is not very descriptive of the green leaves of the within plant which is winter hardy to USDA Zones 5 to 8 in the U.S.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Moist shady areas of the landscape. Native plant gardens. Woodland gardens.