Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed)

Alternanthera philoxeroides, also known as Alligatorweed, is a member of the Amaranthaceae family. It is native to South America and Texas, but has been introduced to several states in the United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.

Alligator weed has several common names, including Alligatorweed and Pig Weed. It is also known by the synonym Achyranthes philoxeroides. This invasive plant is known for its rapid growth and ability to outcompete native vegetation, leading to negative impacts on local ecosystems.

Alternanthera philoxeroides Information

Family Amaranthaceae
Common Names Alligatorweed, Alligator Weed, Pig Weed
Synonyms Achyranthes philoxeroides
Native to USA AL, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, + PR
Size About 3 feet

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Alternanthera philoxeroides edible?

Alternanthera philoxeroides, also known as alligator weed, is not considered edible. It is a native of South America and is classified as an invasive weed in many areas, including Texas.

How do I identify Alternanthera philoxeroides?

You can identify Alternanthera philoxeroides by looking for a perennial herb with small, white flowers and long, narrow leaves that grow in an alternating pattern along the stem. The leaves may have a reddish or purplish tinge, and the plant tends to grow in wet or damp areas such as along the banks of streams or in floodplains. It is often found in areas where it has been introduced as an ornamental plant, but has escaped cultivation and become an invasive weed.

Is Alternanthera philoxeroides Native to the USA?

Alternanthera philoxeroides is not native to the United States. It is native to South America and was introduced to the United States as an ornamental plant. It has since escaped cultivation and become an invasive wildflower in many parts of the country, including Texas.