Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Alternanthera nana R.Br.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
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Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Habit, leaves and flowers. © G. Sankowsky
Herbarium specimen. © CSIRO

Brown, R. (1810) Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 417. Type: v.v.

Common name

Hairy Joyweed


Prostrate, ascending or erect herb. Leafy stems clothed in erect white hairs.


Leaf blades about 17-30 x 8-12 mm. Upper surface glabrous, lower surface with hairs along the midrib when young.


Inflorescence sessile in the axils, globose to ovoid, 5-10 x 6 mm; rachis woolly; bracts ovate, acute; perianth segments 2-3 mm long, oblong or oblong-lanceolate with short acute apex, glabrous. Stamens 4 or 5; staminodes 1 or 0, filaments filiform, slightly thickened at base.


Fruits borne in a tightly-packed head-like structure. Each fruit about 2 x 2 mm, enclosed in the perianth remnants. Seeds about 1.5 x 1.5 mm. Embryo U-shaped, cotyledons shorter than the radicle. Radicle about 0.8-1. mm long.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in Western Australia, central parts of the Northern Territory, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards into New South Wales. Grows in vine thickets.

Natural History & Notes

Suspected of causing death of sheep (Webb 1948).

RFK Code
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