≡ Menu

Botanical Latin: Cordatus

philadendron-cordatumCordatus (cor DA tus) from the Latin word cor, cordis meaning heart.

Cordatus is a specific epithet used with generic names of both plants and animals to suggest that some part of the organism is heart -shaped. It can also be in the form cordatum or cordata depending on the gender of the genus that it modifies. Hence we find Streptanthus cordatus (heat leaf twist flower), Philodendron cordatum (heart-leaf philodendron), and Houttuynia cordata (heart leaf houttuynia). Other specific epithets that include cors, cordis, are cordifolius (+ folia, foliae meaning leaf) and cordiformis (+ formis meaning shape).

Streptanthus cordatusStreptanthus cordatus is an herbaceous perennial native to Western US. The small flowers consist of a calyx of purple sepals and four purple petals when mature. Lower leaves are spoon shaped, but upper leaves clasp the stem so that the appear heart-shaped.





philadendron-cordatumPhiladendrum cordatum is the popular houseplant with heart shaped leaves known for its ability to take neglect. It grows best in filtered light but cantolerate shade. It has low water needs but can tolerate considerable drought. It’s small size makes it especially useful indoors.




houtuyonia-cordata-2Houttuynia cordata is a rhizomatous perennial growing nine to fifteen inches tall and often used as a ground cover. It has a very small greenish white flower in mid- to late spring and handsome dark green heart-shaped leaves. The cultivar “Chameleon’ has leaves that are tinged with red, pink, cream and yellow. Can become invasive in favorable growing conditions.