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Alternanthera brasiliana 'Brazilian Red Hots'


Alternanthera brasiliana 'Brazilian Red Hots'

Family Name: Amaranthaceae
Synonyms: Alternanthera dentata 'Brazilian Red Hots', Alternanthera brasiliana 'Brazilian Red', Alternanthera 'Brazilian Red Hots', Gomphrena brasiliana 'Brazilian Red Hots'
Common Name: Brazilian Joyweed, Purple Joyweed


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 0.5 m to 0.9 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.5 m to 0.6 m


Native Distribution Of horticultural origin

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial herb up to 0.9 m tall.
Foliage Elliptic leaves are purplish-red near the centre and vibrant pink/ fuschia along the leaf margin.  
Flowers Small, white, pompom-shaped flowers are produced in the leaf axils (near the point of leaf attachment to the stem).
Similar In the nursery trade, this cultivar is sometimes erroneously referred to as Pseuderanthemum 'Jessica'.
Cultivation Fairly easy plant to grow. Prefers loamy rich, well-drained soils. Quite drought-tolerant when established, may wilt during extreme drought stress but recovers well when supplied with water. Tip-prune to encourage bushy and compact form.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Alternanthera' is a combination of 'alternans' (Latin for alternating) and 'anthera' (Greek for anthers), alluding to how alternate anthers of plants from this genus are sterile. Species epithet 'brasiliana' refers to the Brazilian origin of the species form. Cultivar name was registered in 2007, as a patented hybrid of Alternanthera brasiliana.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting
Propagation Method Remarks Stem cuttings root easily.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Purple, Pink
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Crinkled / Twisted
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate
Typical Foliar Area Mesophyll ( 45cm2 - 182.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Texture(s) Papery
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Bilateral
Inflorescence Type Head / Capitulum
Flowering Period Rarely
Flowering Habit Polycarpic
Flowering Period Remarks This plant seldom flowers in Singapore, but it blooms year-round in other countries. It has been observed to bloom in Singapore when regularly fed with a high phosphorous fertilizer.

Image Repository



Master ID 1075
Species ID 2368
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 21 June 2024.