Iresine P.Browne

Greek eiros—wool, referring to the flowers and seeds.

Small shrubs or herbaceous perennials, occasionally climbers. Leaves opposite, simple, ovate, stalked. Flowers inconspicuous in axillary or terminal compound clusters, bisexual or unisexual, white to green. Perianth segments 5, occasionally woolly. Stamens 5, filaments united at the base. Stigmas 2-3. Fruit balloon-like, 1-seeded.

Rarely flowering and generally grown for the colourful foliage either as pot plants or for bedding in the subtropical style. Requiring full sun, these were once more widely used in display bedding schemes, often of the subtropical style.


Flowers rarely produced; leaves, at least, with red stalks and midribs; fruit inflated, balloon-like.

About 80 species from S America but widely cultivated in the tropics and subtropics.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Amaranthaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Caryophyllanae
order      Caryophyllales
family       Amaranthaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Iresine herbstii Hook.
species         Iresine lindenii Van Houtte