Hemigraphis alternata-Purple Waffle, Red Flame Ivy

Hemigraphis alternata on 10-24-12, #124-1.

Purple Waffle, Red Flame Ivy

Hemigraphis alternata

hem-ee-GRAF-iss  al-ter-NAY-tuh

Hemigraphis alternata (Burm.f.) T. Anderson is the correct and accepted scientific name for this plant. It was named and described as such by Thomas Anderson in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society in 1863. It was first named and described as Ruellia alternata by Nicholaas Laurens (Nicholas Laurent) Burman in Flora Indica in 1768.

Nicholaas Laurens Burman was a Dutch botanist and succeeded his father (Johannes Burman) as the chair at the Athenaeum Illustre of Amsterdam and Hortus Botanicus. He was a correspondent of Carl von Linnaeus and eventually joined him at the University of Uppsala in 1870. He was the author of Specimen Botanicum de Geraniis in 1759 and Flora Indica in 1768 which was later finished by Johann Gerhard Koenig. He named several plant species including the Aloe vera and Citrus limon.

Hemigraphis Nees is the correct and accepted scientific name for this genus of plants. It was named and described by Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck (GEEZ!) in Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis in 1847.

Plants of the World Online lists 65 accepted species of Hemigraphis genus which is in the Acanthaceae Family. The 2013 version of The Plant List named 22 accepted genera, 79 synonyms, and 91 species still unresolved. The Plant List is no longer maintained.

I am not 100% sure how I came to know this plant. It could have been in a box of combination planters that Lowe’s received that were all upside-down. They offered me one of the boxes for $3.00 so I couldn’t refuse. Apparently, we didn’t get along well because the above photo is the only one I have. SO, I don’t have much to say about it as far as experience goes. When I have adequate conditions, I would like to give this plant a proper try.

Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: India, Java, Malaysia
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F)
Size: Around 8” tall x 18+” wide
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: organically rich, moist, well-drained soil
Water: Average water needs
Uses: Makes a nice trailing specimen for hanging baskets or a ground cover where cold hardy.

You can check out the links below for further information. The links take you directly to information about the genus or species.

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