Alternanthera brasiliana

Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze

Common Names: Parrot Leaf, Blood Leaf, Metal Weed, Purple Joy Weed, Ruby Leaf

Family: Amaranthaceae

Habit: Alternanthera brasiliana grows as a low glabrous subshrub. Stems are rounded, red to purple with white pubescence. The leaves are arranged oppositely, ovate to elliptic, to 15 cm in length and 6 cm wide with reddish veins with an entire and ciliate margin and an acuminate leaf apex.  The adaxial surface glabrous and abaxial pubescent.

The complete, perfect, sessile, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal and axillary globose to elongate spikes.  Flowers subtended by yellowish white bracts. The perianth with 5, brown/tan, pubescent tepals   There are 5 stamens and 5 staminodia fused at the base.  The superior ovary has a single locule and seed.  The fruit is an achene at maturity.

Habitat: Alternanthera brasiliana grows in Human Altered environments (yards and gardens).

Distribution: Alternanthera brasiliana is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago. It is native to Central and South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Alternanthera brasiliana is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamian Archipelago.