Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. - Alligator-weed

Alternanthera philoxeroides plant

Family - Amaranthaceae

Stems:

Alternanthera philoxeroides stem

Leaves:

Alternanthera philoxeroides leaves

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Alternanthera philoxeroides flowers

Flowering - March - November.

Habitat - Aquatic or very wet areas.

Origin - Native to tropical America.

Other information - This aquatic weed can be found scattered throughout much of Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its habitat, opposite leaves, and globose clusters of flowers. Three other species of Alternanthera can be found in Mobile County.
The genus name Alternanthera derives from the Latin "altern" meaning "alternating, one after another" and the Greek "anth" meaning "a flower" referring to the alternate flower parts (stamens and staminodia).
The species epithet philoxeroides derives from the Greek "phil(o)", "xer" meaning "dry", and "oid" meaning "like, form." Literally translated it means "looks like a land plant" however the actual meaning of the name is not known.

Alabama Distribution:

Alternanthera philoxeroides map

Photographs taken in Palm Beach County, FL., 7-16-02, and in Lee County, AL., 10-19-04.


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