Strobilanthes alternata (Syn. Hemigraphis alternata)-Purple Waffle, Red Flame Ivy

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

Purple Waffle, Red Flame Ivy

Strobilanthes alternata

stroh-bil-AN-theez  al-ter-NAY-tuh


Hemigraphis alternata

hem-ee-GRAF-iss  al-ter-NAY-tuh

Synonyms of Strobilanthes alternata (7) (Updated on 8-3-21 from Plants of the World Online): Blechum cordatum Leonard, Goldfussia colorata (Blume) Moritzi, Hemigraphis alternata (Burm.f.) T.Anderson, Hemigraphis colorata W.Bull, Hemigraphis colorata (Blume) Hallier f., Ruellia alternata Burm.f., Ruellia colorata Blume

Strobilanthes alternata (Burm.f.) Moylan ex J.R.I.Wood is now the correct and accepted name for the species. It was named and described as such by Elizabeth C. Moylan and John Richard Ironside Wood in Novon in 2014. It was first named and described as Ruellia alternata by Nicholaas Laurens (Nicholas Laurent) Burman in Flora Indica in 1768.

The genus, Strobilanthes Blume, was named and described by Carl Ludwig von Blume in Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië in 1826. The genus has 64 synonyms…

Plants of the World Online lists 453 species in the genus (as of 8-3-21 when this page was last updated). It is a member of the plant family Acanthaceae with 206 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made by POWO.


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 still an accepted genus. 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 list 60 accepted species in the genus as of 1-13-20.

I came about this plant in a strange way. I had bought many plants from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi so the manager of the garden center knew me and had given me some good deals. One day I was in the store and several boxes of combination planters came in upsidedown. She offered me a box for $3.00 so I accepted. This plant happened to be one of the plants in the box. I didn’t know the name of the plant so I had to do some research. At the time I concluded it was Hemigraphis alternata, possibly the cultivar ‘Exotica’. 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 (POWO says Maluku)
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: Consistently moist soil. Do not allow to dry out completely.
Uses: Makes a nice trailing specimen for hanging baskets or a ground cover where cold hardy.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. Of course, you can always send me an email at Some websites below may not be updated to the name change. I will check back on occasion to see if these links need updating.



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