Alternanthera ficoidea var. bettzickiana

(Regel) Backer in C. G. G. J. van Steenis

in C. G. G. J. van Steenis, Fl. Males. Ser. 1, 4: 93. 1949

Common names: Calicoplant parrotleaf
Synonyms: Alternanthera tenella var. bettzickiana (Regel) Veldkamp
Basionyms: Telanthera bettzickiana Regel
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 449. Mentioned on page 450.
Herbs, annual or perennial, often suffrutescent at base, 0.7–1 dm. Stems erect, ascending, prostrate, or decumbent, villous or gray-pubescent, glabrate. Leaves sessile; blade rhombic-ovate to rhombic-obovate, 1–6 × 0.7–2.2 cm, herbaceous, apex acuminate to acute. Inflorescences axillary, sessile; heads stramineous to white, globose, ovoid, or short cylindric, 0.5–1.2 × 0.5–6 cm; bracts less than 1/2 as long as tepals. Flowers: tepals monomorphic, whitish to stramineous, lanceolate, oblong, or ovate-oblong, 2.2–2.5 mm, margins chartaceous, apex acute to acuminate, mucronate, pilose or hispid; stamens 5; anthers 5, oblong; pseudo-staminodes lanceolate, equaling or exceeding filaments, margins fimbriate. Utricles included within tepals, stramineous, ovoid to subglobose, 1.8–2 mm, apex acuminate. Seeds 1 mm.

Phenology: Flowering late winter.
Habitat: Waste places
Elevation: 0-10 m


V4 883-distribution-map.gif

Fla., Tex., South America (Brazil), widely cultivated throughout the tropics.


Because of its varicolored foliage, var. bettzichiana is widely cultivated. Unconfirmed reports of its spread from cultivation include California and Maryland. Variety flavogrisea (hairy joyweed), similar to var. bettzichiana but green throughout and with oblong, ovate, elliptic, or oval leaves, has been reported from Texas, but no specimens have been seen.



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.