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Useful Tropical Plants

Alternanthera philoxeroides

(Mart.) Griseb.

Amaranthaceae

+ Synonyms

Achyranthes paludosa Bunbury

Achyranthes philoxeroides (Mart.) Standl.

Alternanthera philoxerina Suess.

Bucholzia philoxeroides Mart.

Celosia amphibia Salzm. ex Moq.

Mogiphanes philorexoides D. Parodi

Telanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Moq.

Common Name:

Alternanthera philoxeroides
Plant forming a dense mat of growth in Bangalore, India
Photograph by: Wilson C.G.; Australian National Botanic Gardens
Creative Commons License
Alternanthera philoxeroides Alternanthera philoxeroides Alternanthera philoxeroides Alternanthera philoxeroides Alternanthera philoxeroides Alternanthera philoxeroides

General Information

Alternanthera philoxeroides is a herbaceous, perennial plant with creeping stems that form roots at the nodes. The stems usually become ascending towards their apex and can be 55 - 120cm long; they are often much-branched, with the plant forming a dense mat of growth[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
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.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It has been used in aquaculture to remove pollutants from the water and as a source of biomass, though thi should be done with care because of the plant's high propensity to become an invasive weed.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, the Guyanas

Habitat

Stagnant or slow-moving water in pools and ditches[
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.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
HabitPerennial
Height0.60 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Alternanthera philoxeroides is found in tropical to warm temperate zones. Plants are not very cold tolerant - frost and ice will kill exposed stems and leaves, but stems underneath this top mat of dead material are often protected enough to survive the winter and become the basis of the next season's growth[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].
Succeeds on a wide range of substrata, from sand to heavy clay. When floating on water, it may be rooted in the bank or substrate, or can be free floating[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
]. The plant grows best in aquatic sites but may establish as a terrestrial species in wet and poor pastures and on irrigated lands. It prefers level areas of shore or shallow water where it is protected from wave erosion. As with many weeds it thrives in eutrophic conditions and thus often increases where urban and industrial development have polluted and degraded water quality. It loves fresh water of high fertility, but can also tolerate saline soils and waters and is found along the inland tidal reaches of rivers that run to the sea[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
This species is a serious problem in waterways in tropical and warm-temperate regions of the world, where it probably grows in a wider range of water and soil conditions than any other major aquatic weed. Its growth is equally startling whether free floating, loosely attached and forming a mat, or as an emersed plant in a wet or relatively dry field[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
]. Its dense mat of growth can smother most other herbaceous plant species. The plant often does not produce viable seed, but manages to spread freely by vegetative means[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
]. For example, severe storms may strip the leaves from anchored mats or tear the tangled vegetation loose and move it to a new location where it can then grow and establish itself. In the same way, attempts at physical control usually only serve to spread the weed since it is very difficult to ensure that no fragments of the plant are left[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw. The young tops can be eaten raw or cooked[
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.
].

Medicinal

An extract of the plant is used medicinally in India to treat 'female diseases'[
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:

The plant can be used as a tertiary filtration system for domestic sewage[
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.
].
The plant is sometimes cultivated as a source of biomass for compost-making[
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 -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2020-03-28. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Alternanthera+philoxeroides>

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