Under-used Plants–Hemigraphis

This lovely little plant was provided to me by the Raker company as part of a package they called “HortCouture.” 

I knew nothing about it when I received it and there is very little information out there in the trade–but  I was astonished to read recently in a Brooklyn Botanic Garden publication that it was rated the #1 plant for cleaning the air in a recent study of plants tested for that purpose.  So I guess this will be one of the tropicals that I bring in to over-winter.

According to the information I received with the plant it was supposed to grow 15-18″ but some of the information on the web says 6″ is more like it and that’s certainly what my plants are doing.  I even saw one post-er who is using cuttings from his in his aquarium!

Mine is in partial shade but it tolerates heat of the day sun and it did have very tiny white flowers at one point early in the summer–before it got over-run by the coleus that was sharing its pot and I moved it to this pot.  We’ll see it if gets any larger now that it has new digs (no pun intended).

It will be interesting to see if this plant is ever developed as an annual for the nursery trade or a hot new “temperennial.”  Perhaps now that it’s won its distinction as an air-cleaning plant, it will be bred as a garden center hanging plant.

According to the sources, it hails from southeast Asia.  It’s certainly been happy in tropical Connecticut this year!

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