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Many hybrids and about 190 cultivars have been developed, with different markings and colors, ranging from white, golden yellow, orange, to apricot, pink, red, purple and lavender. Alstroemeria leaves are 'resupinate' which means they grow upside down, with the leaf twisting as it grows out from the stem so that the bottom faces upwards.
Excellent in garden containers and in flowerbeds and borders. They also make good cut flowers with an exceptionally long vase life.
Provide a sunny location in areas with cool summers, but in Florida and other hot summer regions, plant in shade.
Grown exclusively for its colorful foliage - rich purple to burgundy leaves. Forms spreading foliage mounds to 12-30" tall. Common names - Joseph's coat, copperleaf, calico plant, bloodleaf, joyweed and parrot leaf - all in reference to the often brilliantly colored leaves which provide foliage contrast to gardens and container plantings.Best foliage colors are developed in full sun. It grows better in organically rich and consistently moist, well-drained soils, But not completely dry out. May also be grown indoors as a houseplant as long as it is sited in a bright, sunny location and soils are kept moist. Plants may be grown from seed by starting them indoors in late winter and transplanting them outdoors after last frost date. Pinching stems or shearing will keep plants compact and bushy.
Variety Watermelon has amazing colorful foliage with a combination of red, pink, orange, yellow and green.
A water plant that will float across the water surface. The internodes of Alternanthera aquatica are filled with air, as adaptation to its life as a floating plant, and look "bloated". Dainty white flowers.
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
The flowers are profuse and white, tightly bunched on little spiky thorns.