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Alternanthera dentata 'Little Ruby'


Alternanthera dentata 'Little Ruby'

Family Name: Amaranthaceae
Common Name: Joseph's Coat

This compact herbaceous plant will provide a vivid burst of colour in the landscape as a groundcover or container plant.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names
Species Summary

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 0.3 m to 0.4 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.6 m to 0.9 m


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A low-growing groundcover up to 40 cm tall and 90 cm wide.
Foliage Leaves are reddish to vivid purple-burgundy, oval-shaped and has entire margin.
Stems Stems are reddish to purple.
Flowers It produces small, white solitary flowers shaped like pom-poms.
Cultivation Plant grows best under full sun on moist and well-drained soil. It can also grow well under semi-shade, but foliage colour is more intense under brighter light. Pinch the tips to encourage branching, bushiness and compactness. It is a low maintenance cultivar that grows well in humid, warm climates. Apply a thick layer of chunky mulch and feed occasionally with slow release fertiliser.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Its attractive burgundy leaves makes the plant suitable as groundcover or grown as flowerbed on in container planting.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Flowerbed / Border, General, Groundcover

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Easy to Grow, Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Transplanting Tolerance Good
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Purple, Red
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Raised / Sunken Veins
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Purple, Red
Young Flush Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Acute

Image Repository



Master ID 33885
Species ID 8301
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: 17 January 2023.