While some of the better-known species are aquatic plants, most are terrestrial. They take many forms, from prostrate to erect to floating.
The flowers of this plant are very insignificant, bearing small bracts on a single stalk. These are best cut off, to allow the plant to concentrate on it's foliage. An attractive border plant or groundcover. About 10cm high, 1m spread.
Although Alternanthera can usually only be found during the warmer months in nurseries, it can be grown all year round. Grows best in full sun and in good soil this plant will respond handsomely. Fertilizing should be done with a water soluble variety so as not to burn the foliage. Can be clipped occassionally to form a neat low edging.
Propagation can be done by dividing larger plants during the cooler months of the year.
Species and varieties:
Alternanthera reinecki -aquarium plant
Alternanthera sessilis -aquarium plant