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Useful Tropical Plants

Alternanthera ficoidea

(L.) P.Beauv.

Amaranthaceae


We are following the treatment in GRIN, but some other treatments, including the on-line Flore do Brasil, view Alternanthera ficoidea as a synonym of Alternanthera tenella Colla[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Alternanthera tenella Colla

Gomphrena ficoidea L.

Common Name:

Alternanthera ficoidea
Flowering plant
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Alternanthera ficoidea Alternanthera ficoidea Alternanthera ficoidea Alternanthera ficoidea Alternanthera ficoidea Alternanthera ficoidea

General Information

Alternanthera ficoidea is an evergreen, herbaceous perennial plant growing from 15 - 30cm tall and spreading to form a mat of growth 45cm wide or more[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].
The edible leaves are used locally, being harvested from the wild and the ornamental garden. The plant is widely grown in the tropics as an ornamental and ground cover plant, especially the forms with variegated foliage.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

434
Title
Flora of Peru
Publication
 
Author
Macbride. J.F.
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent attempt at a Flora of Peru, though it is clear that many of the plants were imperfectly known at that time and so information on them was sketchy. Available for download from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama; Caribbean - Trinidad to Cuba.

Habitat

Pastures, waste places, clearings etc[
434
Title
Flora of Peru
Publication
 
Author
Macbride. J.F.
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent attempt at a Flora of Peru, though it is clear that many of the plants were imperfectly known at that time and so information on them was sketchy. Available for download from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.25 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Plants are hardy to about 1°c[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
Succeeds in full sun to partial shade[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
]. Prefers an organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soil[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].
The basic species has green leaves, but several cultivars have been developed where the green leaves are blotched with yellow, orange, red, brown, copper or purple, sometimes with red veining[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The leaves are eaten raw with rice, boiled as a potherb, or eaten with sambal, a hot pepper mixture[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The plant might be useful as an antiviral agent[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Plants can be grown as ground cover[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
]. The densely matted growth makes it suitable to be used to protect soil against erosion[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Division. Quite easy, since the lower stems root into the ground.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-11-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Alternanthera+ficoidea>

Comments

jyoti karnik 08th January 2015 11:16
i have this plant in my garden in mumbai suburb and had it as a vegetable dish and it seemed like spinach though the stems were a bit harder

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