Alternanthera brasiliana (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Alternanthera brasiliana (Torner) O. Kuntze

Protologue: Revis. gen. pl. 2: 537 (1891).


  • Alternanthera strigosa Hassk. (1839).


Native of tropical America; introduced and naturalized in western and central Java.


A. brasiliana might be useful as an antiviral agent.


  • A perennial herb up to 3 m tall, decumbent at base, ascending-erect or clambering higher up, often widely branched, stems solid; hairs minutely dentate.
  • Leaves ovate-lanceolate, 3.5-10 cm × 1-4 cm, densely appressed pilose on both surfaces when young but later slowly glabrescent, petiole 0.5-1.5 cm long.
  • Flowering heads stalked; tepals strongly 3-veined, yellowish-white, filaments united at base into a distinct tube.
  • Fruit ellipsoidal, about 2 mm long.

A. brasiliana occurs locally gregariously in Java, on moist, shaded localities on ravine slopes and stream banks, at 200-600 m altitude.

Selected sources

  • Alexandre, M.A.V., Noronha, A.B. & Vicente, M., 1987. Acao de inibidores naturais sobre duas viroses do feijoeiro: mosaico dourado e mosaico do fumo "strain"" adaptado as leguminosas [Action of natural inhibitors on two virus diseases of bean, bean golden mosaic virus and tobacco mosaic virus legume strain]. Fitopatologia Brasileira 12(3): 202-205.
  • Backer, C.A., 1949. Amaranthaceae. In: van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (General editor): Flora Malesiana. Series 1, Vol. 4. Noordhoff Kolff, Djakarta, Indonesia. pp. 69-98.
  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink Jr, R.C., 1963-1968. Flora of Java. 3 volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands. Vol. 1 (1963) 647 pp., Vol. 2 (1965) 641 pp., Vol. 3 (1968) 761 pp.
  • Koseki, I., Simoni, I.C., Nakamura, I.T., Noronha, A.B. & Costa, S.S., 1990. Antiviral activity of plant extracts against aphthovirus, pseudorabies virus and pestivirus in cell cultures. Microbios Letters 44(173): 19-30.
  • Lagrota, M.H.C., Wigg, M.D., Miranda, M.M.F.S., Santos, M.G.M. & Costa, S.S., 1995. Inhibition of herpes simplex virus replication by different extracts of Caryophyllales. Biomedical Letters 51(202): 127-135.
  • Noronha, A.B., Gil, V.L., Vicente, M. & Goncalves, A.L., 1983. Occurrence of plant virus inhibitors in five species of Caryophyllales. II. Alternanthera amoena, A. brasiliana, A. philoxeroides, Iresine herbstii and Talinum paniculatum. Fitopatologia Brasileira 8(2): 317-323.

Main genus page


  • R.H.M.J. Lemmens & S.F.A.J. Horsten