Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Caryophyllales > Amaranthaceae > Alternanthera > Alternanthera philoxeroides

Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed; alligatorweed; pig weed; Xi han lian zi cao)


Wikipedia Abstract

Alternanthera philoxeroides, commonly known as alligator weed, is an emergent aquatic plant. It originated in Argentina in 1897, but has spread to many parts of the world and is considered an invasive species in Australia, China, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States. The alligator weed's primary mode of transport is believed to be through ballast tanks on the side of traveling ships.
View Wikipedia Record: Alternanthera philoxeroides


Invasive Species

Alternanthera philoxeroides, commonly known as alligator weed, is a perennial stoloniferous herb that can be found in many parts of the world, infesting rivers, lakes, ponds and irrigation canals, as well as many terrestrial habitats. The aquatic form of the plant has the potential to become a serious threat to waterways, agriculture and the environment. The terrestrial form of Alternanthera philoxeroides grows into a dense mat with a massive underground rhizomatous root system. The canopy can smother most other herbaceous plant species. It has proven to be extremely expensive to attempt controlling Alternanthera philoxeroides.
View ISSG Record: Alternanthera philoxeroides


Bloom Period [1]  Early Spring
Drought Tolerance [1]  Low
Fire Tolerance [1]  None
Frost Free Days [1]  6 months 20 days
Fruit/Seed Begin [1]  Spring
Fruit/Seed End [1]  Summer
Growth Form [1]  Stoloniferous
Growth Period [1]  Spring
Growth Rate [1]  Rapid
Leaf Type [2]  Evergreen
Lifespan [1]  Perennial
Propagation [1]  Sprig
Regrowth Rate [1]  Slow
Root Depth [1]  10 inches (25 cm)
Seed Spread Rate [1]  None
Shape/Orientation [1]  Prostrate
Structure [2]  Herb
Vegetative Spread Rate [1]  Rapid
Flower Color [1]  White
Foliage Color [1]  Green
Height [1]  3.937 inches (0.1 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 6 Low Temperature: -10 F° (-23.3 C°) → 0 F° (-17.8 C°)
Light Preference [1]  Mixed Sun/Shade
Soil Acidity [1]  Neutral
Soil Fertility [1]  Infertile
Water Use [1]  High
Screening - Summer [1]  Porous
Screening - Winter [1]  Porous


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Eastern Coastal Australia Australia Australasia Tropical and Subtropical Coastal Rivers    
Lower Mississippi United States Nearctic Temperate Floodplain River and Wetlands    
Sabine - Galveston United States Nearctic Temperate Coastal Rivers    

Protected Areas



Caribbean; North America;

External References

USDA Plant Profile



Attributes / relations provided by
1USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
2Kattge, J. et al. (2011b) TRY - a global database of plant traits Global Change Biology 17:2905-2935
3Agasicles hygrophila Selman and Vogt (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Halticinae), Ted D. Center, USDA-ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory; James P. Cuda, University of Florida; Michael J. Grodowitz, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, September 2009. Latest revision: November 2015
4Amynothrips andersoni O'Neill (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), Ted D. Center (retired), USDA-ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory; James P. Cuda, University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department; Michael J. Grodowitz, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, June 2010. Last Revision: April 2013
5HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License