Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze
Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze 'Rubiginosa'
Alternanthera brasiliana (L.) Kuntze var. villosa (Moq.) Kuntze
Alternanthera dentata (Moench) Stuchlik ex R.E. Fr.
Alternanthera dentata (Moench) Stuchlik ex R.E. Fr. 'Rubiginosa'
Alternanthera dentata (Moench) Stuchlik ex R.E. Fr. 'Rubra
Gomphrena brasiliana L.
Gomphrena dentata Moench
Telanthera brasiliana (L.) Moq. var. villosa Moq.
alternanthera, Brazilian joyweed, calico plant, indoor clover, Joseph's coat, joy weed, large purple alternanthera, metal weed, parrot leaf, purple alternanthera, purple joy weed, purple joyweed, ruby calico plant, ruby leaf, ruby leaf alternanthera
Native to southern Mexico, Central America (i.e. Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua), the Caribbean and tropical South America (i.e. French Guiana, Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and eastern Peru).
Purple joyweed (Alternanthera brasiliana) is becoming widely naturalised in the coastal districts of northern and eastern Australia. It is relatively common in northern Queensland and the northern parts of the Northern Territory. Also naturalised in the coastal districts of central and southern Queensland and in the Kimberley region in northern Western Australia.
Naturalised overseas in south-eastern USA (i.e. Florida), South Africa and on some Pascific islands (e.g. Hawaii, Niue and Palau).
Purple joyweed (Alternanthera brasiliana) is now regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland and the Northern Territory. This species is very common in cultivation as a garden ornamental and is often grown as a hedging plant. It has escaped cultivation and become naturalised, particularly along waterways in the warmer and wetter coastal areas of northern Australia.
Several cultivars are available and these generally differ in the colour of their foliage. Alternanthera brasiliana 'Rubiginosa' (aka. Alternanthera brasiliana 'Ruby' or Alternanthera brasiliana 'Rubra') is probably the most common of these, in both cultivated and naturalised plants, and has reddish-purple coloured leaves.
Purple joyweed (Alternanthera brasiliana) appears on some environmental weed lists in eastern Queensland (e.g. in Ipswich City and Redland Shire) and is regarded as an emerging weed or "sleeper weed " in the Katherine region in the Northern Territory. It is also seen as a threat to native plant ecosystems in aboriginal lands in the Northern Land Council area.