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Highlands Center for Natural History - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Alternanthera caracasana - washerwoman

Synonyms: Achyranthes peploides, Alternanthera peploides
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Amaranthaceae

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Highlands Center for Natural History
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Highlands Center for Natural History
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Introduced   Life Cycle: Perennial   Similar Species: Alternanthera sp.
General Desc: Low growing, weedy plant with highly branched, long prostrate stems that are covered with small leaves. Clusters of tiny white flowers are nestled within the leaves. This plant is a native of tropical America but introduced in Arizona.
Identification notes: Prostrate stems, sessile leaves, sessile inflorescences, tepals dimorphic and densely villous, leaf blades longer than broad with smooth margins and whitish flowers distinguishes this species from other Alternanthera sp.
Height: Less than 3 inches


Habitat Description: Waste places that are gravelly or sandy.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Oct
Description: Flower clusters are under a 1/2 inch wide and covered in tiny stiff white flowers. The flowers are surrounded by white floral bracts and there are five stamens.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Hairs on leaves and stems are sparse. Leaves are oval, usually longer than broad and ending in a soft point. The leaves that are opposite each other are unequal in size to 1-1/4 inch long.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

No Fruit or seed notes

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Yavapai County
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Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
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