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Purple Heart

Setcreasea pallida

Purple Queen, Wandering Jew

About This Plant

Sun or shade. A hardy, heat-tolerant groundcover. Fleshy purple foliage forms spreading mats. Pink flowers appear in warm weather. Though considered a pest by some growers, due to its tenacious nature, purple heart is arguably MUCH better-adapted to conditions in south-central Texas, and looks better doing it most years, than just about any comparable turf grass or groundcover species. If only we could learn how to best employ it in landscape design. Check out the Pearl Brewery on Broadway (paired with firecracker plant and butterfly iris) for examples. Use it in pots and shady spots, or anywhere in the garden — around evergreens and trees that can provide structure if it (rarely) leans back in winter or summer. Purple heart can spread freely in shade; not a good pairing for delicate native plantings.

Origins: Tamaulipas, Mexico

Maintenance

None needed, although it spreads freely if uncontained. Expect it to freeze back in winter.

A hardy, heat tolerant perennial with fleshy purple leaves and a fine tolerance for shady areas.

Min. Height: 1'

Max Height: 2 feet'

Min. Width: 3'

Max Width: 6 feet'

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