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Brazillian Joyweed

​​​Brazillian Joyweed

Alternanthera brasiliana

  • Common Name: Brazillian Joyweed (other common names: Large Purple Alternanthera, Metal Weed, Bloodleaf, Parrot Leaf, Ruby Leaf, Brazilian Joyweed, Purple Alternanthera, Purple Joyweed).
  • Scientific Name: Alternanthera brasiliana
  • Family Name: Amaranthaceae
  • Origin: South America and Central America – native to Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas, Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • Height: 24” -36”
  • Width: Depends on the supporting structure.
  • Growth: Fast growing.
  • Zone: 10A - 11
  • Light Needs: Partial shade - full sun.
  • Salt Tolerance: Good
  • Soil/PH/Texture: Likes sandy or loamy soil, acidic – slightly alkaline.
  • Soil Moisture: Average water needs – moist well drained soils, but do not overwater.
  • Drought Tolerance: High
  • Pests/Diseases: Long term health usually not affected by pests or diseases in full sun.
  • Growing Conditions: Prefers full sun for the best color development and prefers well drained soils but will also adapt. They will also respond well to regular tip pruning to make it thicker and more compact.
  • Characteristics: Grown for its foliage of Burgundy/Maroon – Orange/Apricot, and its 1/2”-4” long leaves are arranged opposite. The small clustered blooms are vanilla, and it blooms repeatedly.
    Propagation: Dividing the root ball, softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings and from seed. It will also self-seed.

  • Wildlife: Attracts bees, birds and butterflies.
  • Facts: Often harvested from the wild and used as a food and medicine, (antiviral and anti-diarrhea agent).
  • Designer Considerations: Can grow in containers, as a groundcover, low hedge, mass plantings, or cascade over walls.