I'd like to get a hint to identify the beautiful plant with red, green and yellow leafs in the picture below. The color of the leaves has been like that since the plant has been there (at least since June this year), so no autumn specialty. In some it had small white flowers with a yellow heart. The plant is not higher than 25 to 30 cm. There are several of them in a radius of 2 m and it seems that their root-system is connected. At first I thought this is a kind of ivy, but I couldn't find anything which is similar.

The variety of plants in my garden and my (non-existent) experience makes it impossible for me to identify them. I would be surprised if it is a weed. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Colorful leafs Colorful leafs

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    Also see How do I get rid of houttuynia (heartleaf/lizard tail)? Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 0:38
  • Try to weaken it by cutting down any stems that emerge (at ground level). As it has an invasive spreading underground root system (rhizomes), if you try to dig it out, you'll never be able to remove the whole rhizome and you will inevitably leave maybe even just an inch of the rhizome ( as there are small roots along every inch of it) and that will only help it multiply. Commented Apr 13 at 17:50

3 Answers 3


That would be Houttuynia cordata which I now regret planting in my garden. It is invasive with a spreading underground root system.
It does grow slowly in water so might be used as a water garden plant. For most gardens in even moderately moist soil it is ill behaved and should be removed unless you really, really like it.

  • It has spread 100 feet from where I unfortunately planted it . Loves moisture. Commented Mar 11, 2023 at 16:46

It is chameleon; Houttuynia Cordata. I noticed it was from Asia and very aggressive. I burned it. I didn't want it in my timber either as it would take over the native plants.


Chameleon weed. Super invasive, and I've become allergic to it's oils so I can't even mow the lawn when it comes out in the spring/summer anymore. VERY hard to get rid of because it's a rhizome plant (and I don't know where the mother root is based so it's not like I can get someone to dig out the original plant). Definitely rec'd killing it off if you can. Don't even bother trying to hand-weed it!

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