Alternanthera ficoidea

Alternanthera ficoidea (L.) P. Beauv.

Synonym: Alternanthera tenella

Common Names: Joy Weed

Family: Amaranthaceae

Habit: Alternanthera ficoidea grows as a shrubby herbaceous annual to 1 m in height. Stems are rounded, red to purple with white pubescence, often rooting at the nodes. The reddish green with white leaves are arranged oppositely, elliptic to oblanceolate, to 1o cm in length and 2 cm wide with an acute to obtuse/mucronate leaf apex and an entire/ciliate margin .  The adaxial surface glabrous and abaxial pubescent.

The complete, perfect, sessile, actinomorphic flowers are in sessile, globose, axillary spikes.  Flowers subtended by yellowish white, keeled and spined 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 ficoidea grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens and disturbed areas).

Distribution: Alternanthera ficoidea is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago. It is native to the wider Caribbean region and Central and South America.

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