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[
Alternanthera tenella Colla
Gomphrena ficoidea L.
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[
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.
S. America - Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama; Caribbean - Trinidad to Cuba.
Pastures, waste places, clearings etc[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Plants are hardy to about 1°c[
Succeeds in full sun to partial shade[
]. Prefers an organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soil[
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[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The leaves are eaten raw with rice, boiled as a potherb, or eaten with sambal, a hot pepper mixture[
The plant might be useful as an antiviral agent[
Plants can be grown as ground cover[
]. The densely matted growth makes it suitable to be used to protect soil against erosion[
Division. Quite easy, since the lower stems root into the ground.
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