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Alternanthera sissoo hort.


Alternanthera sissoo hort.

Family Name: Amaranthaceae
Common Name: Brazil Spinach, Sabu Spinach, Samba Lettuce, Sissoo Spinach


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
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 0.4 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.5 m to 1 m


Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Forms a dense mat of creeping stems.
Foliage Medium green, glossy leaves are heart-shaped with a wrinkled leaf texture.
Stems The stem forms roots at the nodes.
Fruit The seeds produced are typically not viable.
Taxonomy This species does not occur in major taxonomic databases, but is well known among tropical growers. 
Cultivation This plant requires soil with high organic matter content and should be fertilized with a high nitrogen feed. It grows best at about 50% shade, having fewer pest problems. Typical pests are caterpillars and slugs.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Leaves
Food (Fruit or Vegetable): In Brazil, the leaves are often eaten raw as part of a salad. The leaves should be cooked if consumed in large quantity, because they contain oxalic acid. The flavour is usually mild, but some cultivars have a slightly bitter taste.
Others: It can be inter-cropped with other vegetables, because it forms a dense mat of edible leaves which can prevent weeds from becoming established.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Groundcover
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Remarks The leaves should not be consumed raw in large quantities due to the presence of oxalic acid.

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Lots of Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Pest(s) Chewing Insects
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Crinkled / Twisted
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Cordate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cordate



Toensmeier, E.. 2007. Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro. Chelsea Green Publishing. 224 pp.

Image Repository



Master ID 31971
Species ID 6373
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: 08 February 2022.