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Starr 080117-1693 Hypoestes phyllostachya.jpg
Polka Dot Plants (H. phyllostachya)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Subfamily: Acanthoideae
Tribe: Ruellieae
Subtribe: Justiciinae
Genus: Hypoestes
Sol. ex R.Br.
Over 100 species

Amphiestes S.Moore
Periestes Baill.

Hypoestes is a flowering plant genus with many dozens of species. They are widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical lands around the Indian Ocean, and some adjacent regions.

It belongs to the subfamily Acanthoideae of the acanthus family Acanthaceae. Therein, it is classified in the subtribe Justiciinae of tribe Ruellieae, making it a relative of such American genera as the mosaic plants (Fittonia), water-willows (Justicia) and wrightworts (Carlowrightia).

Many of these herbaceous to small shrubby plants of the undergrowth have boldly patterned leaves, typically featuring red colors. Some are grown as ornamental plants or pot plants. Most well-known among these are H. phyllostachya of Madagascar and its cultivars, commonly called polka dot plant.


Flowering stalks of Hypoestes aristata
Hypoestes commonly called the Polka Dot Plant, is native to Madagascar. It lives on the forest floor, beneath the emergent, canopy, and understory layers.