Don’t bother with the species if you want a chameleon plant in your garden as it is dull by comparison to the variegated cultivar ‘Chameleon’ aka Variegata, Tricolor, or ‘Court Jester’ (different names for the  same cultivar).  The cultivar has bright red stems and heart shaped-leaves that are red, pink, yellow, cream and green.  It is quite a pretty sight and will grow in almost any garden except one with dry soil.  It likes full sun and part shade but tolerates deep shade;  it likes moist soil but tolerates wet soil up to inches over its crown so can be used in a bog garden or on the edge of a pond as well as a ground cover for moist places. And it makes a great ground cover! The flowers are a bit on the dull side but the pretty foliage makes up for that and the plant looks good from spring until fall.  The real down side is that the plant can be a thug.  It rapidly spreads by rhizomes and can become invasive.  The worst part is that the new plants may revert to the species and have plain green leaves so you need to get rid of them or your whole bed will become filled with the species and its plain green leaves.   Not to worry, however, because if the plant overwelms you you can always harvest the stems and leaves and eat them as the Chinese and Vietnamese do, but be forewarned that the leaves have a fishy taste.   Photo Credit Wikipedia

The species rather than the cultivar

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Height: 1-2′ H x indefinite spread

Bloom Color : Greenish-white flowers with showy white bracts

Bloom Time:  Summer

Light: Full sun to part shade; tolerates deep shade.

Soil:  Organically rich, consistently moist to wet, up to 2″ of water over crown; does not tlerate dry soil.

Hardiness Zones 4-10

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen