Alternanthera brasiliana 'Purple Prince'
Common Name: brazilian joyweed 
Type: Annual
Family: Amaranthaceae
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 0.75 to 1.25 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 1.75 feet
Bloom Time: March to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Hardy in Zones 9-11. Can become quite aggressive and weedy.

'Purple Prince' is a heat tolerant cultivar of brazilian joyweed that also exhibits some tolerance of moderate drought once established. Regular irrigation will increase plant performance. Plant in full sun for best foliage color.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Alternanthera brasiliana, commonly known as brazilian joyweed, is a herbaceous perennial or annual native to riparian and disturbed sites in South and Central America. This plant has also escaped cultivation and can be found in the United States, South Africa, and Australia, where it has the potential to become invasive. Mature plants have a somewhat sprawling habit with upright stems that can reach up to 2' tall with an equal spread. The pubescent, ovate foliage ranges in color from greenish purple to deep purple, and reaches up to 3" long. Round clusters of small, white flowers bloom in spring at the ends of the stems and in the leaf axils.

Genus name comes from the Latin words alternans meaning "alternating" and anthera meaning "anther", in reference to alternate anthers in the genus are barren.

The specific epithet brasiliana means "from Brazil", in reference to part of the native range of this species.

'Purple Prince' is a compact selection of brazilian joyweed that features glossy, deep burgundy foliage and densely branched stems. Mature plants will reach up to 16" tall and spread to fill a 20" area. Will typically not flower when used as an annual.


Spider mites, trips, and fusarium wilt are potential problems. Has the potential to become aggressive and weedy in the garden. Make sure this species is not a listed invasive in your area before planting.


A colorful edger for mixed borders. Mass for best effect. Suitable for use in containers. Where not winter hardy, use as an annual.