Iresine diffusa f. herbstii

Iresine diffusa f. herbstii.

Commonly known as Iresine herbstii Plants of the World Online (Kew) says this is a synonym for Iresine diffusa f. herbstii.

The perennial Bloodleaf or Beefsteak Plant can grow as an erect herbaceous sub-shrub around 0.5 to 1 m high.
Stems can be also be prostrate or scramble resulting in a plant up to 2 m high and 2 or 3 m wide.
The branching slightly fleshy stems can be red, green or purple.
There may be simple and glandular hairs on most parts including the stems.

Leaves are opposite and decussate (in 4 ranks).
They are on a smooth or hairy petiole up to 3 cm long.
The wide ovate to almost circular blade, up to 10 cm long has a flat base and a smooth edge.
Tips can be round or pointed often with a shallow notch or 2 deeper lobes.
The lobe tips will be round or pointed depending on the univided leaves.
There are hairs on both surfaces especially the lower.

Leaves come in 2 colour patterns usually on separate plants but both can be seen on the same plant.
a.) Deep purplish-brown to maroon with bright pink around the veins.
This can be reversed to bright pink or crimson blades with deep purplish areas between the veins.
The tips, notches and lobes are mostly rounded.

b.) Green leaves with yellow around the veins especially the midrib.
With a lot of yellow they are better described as yellow leaves with green patches between the veins.
The tips, divided and undivided tend to be more pointed than the purplish leaves.

Terminal and axillary inflorescences can have different branching patterns.
Each section is a spike with a number of small solitary green flowers along it.
The branches have simple white hairs, each branch has a bract and the flowers have bracteoles.
Bracts and bracteoles are ovate, hairless, persistent, around 1 mm long and white, green or yellow.

The 5 greenish-white or yellow tepals (sepals), also around 1 mm long may have a few hairs.
Flowers are unisexual with male and female on different plants.
Male flowers have 5 stamens.

Female flowers have an ovary with a very short style and a bi-lobed stigma.
There are dense hairs around the base of each female flower.

There are a number of cultivars most with variegated deep purple or red leaves.