Alternanthera bettzickiana
Alternanthera bettzichiana 1zz.jpg
Arya.alternanthera bettzickiana.2019.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Alternanthera
A. bettzickiana
Binomial name
Alternanthera bettzickiana
(Regel) G.Nicholson

Alternanthera amoena

Alternanthera bettzickiana, commonly known as calico-plant, is a species of flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae. It is commonly used as an ornamental edging plant. Native to South America, its cultivar 'Red' is similar in appearance to some of the Alternanthera dentata and Alternanthera brasiliana varieties.[2][1]


This perennial herb is between 20 and 50 cm tall and has variegated leaves. Its branched stems have a circular section towards the base and quadrangular towards the summit. They present some hairs at the nodes and the apex, as well as at the level of the short petioles (1 to 4 mm long). The leaf blade is 1 to 6 mm long and 0.5 to 2 mm wide. It is green, red or green tinged with red or yellow. Its shape is oval, sometimes a little oblong or spatulate. It is not flat but slightly wavy.[3]

Flowering takes place at the end of the summer. The inflorescences are terminal or axillary; there are between 2 and 5 per flower stalk. The bracts measure 1.5 to 3 mm in length and are acuminate. The corolla and calyx are white tepals , the outermost being longer (3 or 4 mm) and hairy than the internal ones. There are 5 stamens with linear anthers. The ovary is smooth, very short style.[4]


It is particularly popular in China, where it is "cultivated in nearly all the large cities".[2] Thriving in full sun to partial shade, the plant has been naturalised in southeastern Queensland, Australia, where it grows in woodlands but can also be found along roads through rainforest.[5] The plant is also harvested from the wild for its edible leaves, which may aid anaemic children.[6]



  1. ^ a b "Alternanthera bettzickiana". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b Alternanthera bettzickiana. Flora of China.
  3. ^ Nicholson, G., 1884Illustrated Dictionary of Gardening, a Practical and Scientific Encyclopaedia of Horticulture for Gardeners and Botanists.
  4. ^ Flora of China. "Alternanthera bettzickiana (Regel) G. Nicholson". Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  5. ^ F.A.Zich; B.P.M.Hyland; T.Whiffen; R.A.Kerrigan (2020). "Alternanthera ficoidea". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants Edition 8 (RFK8). Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR), Australian Government. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  6. ^ Alternanthera bettzickiana

Further reading

  • Lim, G. (1968). A new record of sclerotial wilt of Alternanthera amoena (Lem.) Voss. Mycopathologia Volume 36, Number 2.