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Alternanthera sessilis 'Red'


Alternanthera sessilis 'Red'

Family Name: Amaranthaceae
Common Name: Red Sessile Joyweed, Red Carpet Weed, Bayam Keremak Merah, Red Ceylon Spinach, 红田乌, 红田乌草


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Leggy
Maximum Height 40 cm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 25 cm


Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Perennial herb with a creeping growth habit up to 0.5 m tall.
Foliage Narrow, elongated leaves are reddish purple with entire leaf margin (smooth edges).
Stems Stems are smooth and reddish purple.
Flowers Small, reddish pink and white flowers are small, round and shaped like pom-poms.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal (

Scientific Evidence of Medicinal Properties

In pre-clinical trials, Red Carpet Weed showed anti-diabetic (Hossain et al., 2014), pain-relieving (Mondal et al., 2014), anti-inflammation (Subhashini et al., 2010), antioxidant (Phusrisom et al., 2013) and cholesterol-lowering properties (Rohini & Doss, 2010) in animals.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

Research supports the traditional use of Red Carpet Weed to treat diabetes, wounds, bronchitis, cough and hypertension. Other traditional uses include treating flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and dysentery.   

It is important to note that some therapeutic effects from traditional medicinal uses of plants are not currently supported or verified by scientific research. 


Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Maintenance Requirements Remarks Plant tends to be 'leggy' and exhibit poor coverage of ground.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Red
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate
Typical Foliar Area Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 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 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Habit Polycarpic



Hossain, A.I., Faisal, M., Rahman, S., Jahan, R., & Rahmatullah, M. (2014). A preliminary evaluation of antihyperglycemic and analgesic activity of Alternanthera sessilis aerial parts. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14: 169.

Mondal, H., Saha, S., Awang, K., Hossain, H., Ablat, A., Islam, M.K., Jahan, I.A., Sadhu, S.K., Hossain, M.G., Shilpi, J.A. & Uddin, S.J. (2014). Central-stimulating and analgesic activity of the ethanolic extract of Alternanthera sessilis in mice. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14: 398.

Phusrisom, S., Chatuphonprasert, W., Monthakantirat, O., Pearaksa, P. & Jarukamjorn, K. (2013). Alternanthera sessilis and Alternanthera bettzickiana improved superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in the livers of ovariectomized mice. Journal of Applied Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics 1: 64–71.

Rohini, A., Doss, D. & Arokia, V. (2010). Anti-lipidemic effect of Alternanthera sessilis Linn in diabetic rats. Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 2(2): 169–170.

Subhashini, T., Krishnaveni, T. & Srinivas, R.C. (2010). Anti-inflammatory activity of leaf extracts of Alternanthera sessilis. Hygeia Journal for Drugs & Medicines 2(1): 54–56.

Image Repository



Master ID 29124
Species ID 3433
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: 04 October 2022.