Hemigraphis alternata
Common Name: red ivy 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Acanthaceae
Native Range: India, Java, Malaysia
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it is best grown in rich, moist, humusy, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in part shade, particularly with some protection from the hot afternoon sun. Metallic foliage sheen may not develop well in full sun. In St. Louis, grow in containers, hanging baskets or as an annual ground cover. Propagate vegetatively by cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hemigraphis alternata, commonly called hemigraphis or sometimes red ivy, is native to India and Java. It is a prostrate tropical perennial that typically grows to 6-9” tall and spreads indefinitely along the ground rooting at the stem nodes as it goes. It is primarily valued as a ground cover for its colorful foliage. Toothed, puckered, ovate-cordate leaves (to 3” long) are metallic silvery gray-green above and purple beneath. Tiny, five-lobed, bell-shaped, white flowers in 1” racemes bloom in summer. Flowers are insignificant.

Genus name comes from the Greek words hemi meaning half and graphis meaning brush (for one half of a brush) referring to the dense hair-covering on the filaments of the outer stamens.

Specific epithet means alternating.


Watch for scale and whiteflies.


Hanging baskets, containers or ground cover.