Saururaceae Family:

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 8-1-11, #68-25.

Saururaceae F.Voigt

There seems to be some controversy who first “legitimately” named the plant family Saururaceae.

According to Plants of the World Online, Saururaceae F.Voigt was first named and described as such by Friedrich Siegmund Voigt in Analyse Der Frucht Und Des Saamenkorns in 1811. The link to IPNI says the name is suppressed but conserved. 

Most websites and databases use Saururaceae Rich. ex T.Lestib. is the scientific name of the family. It was described as such by Thémistocle Gaspard Lestiboudois in Botanographie Élémentaire in 1826. Mr. Lestiboudois gave Louis Claude Marie Richard credit for first naming and describing the family. 

As of 1-14-23 when I last updated this page, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 4 genera in the family which consist of a total of 6 species.

I only have experience with Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ which was given to me by a friend when I lived in Mississippi. I left it behind when I moved back to the family farm in west-central Missouri in 2013. Then, found a pot of it at a local greenhouse in 2019 but it didn’t make it through the winter. Hopefully, I can find it again because I enjoyed this species…

The family is sometimes referred to as the lizard’s-tail family.


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