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PlantFiles: Joseph's Coat, Parrot Leaf, Calico Plant
Alternanthera ficoidea 'Snow Carpet'

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Alternanthera (al-ter-NANTH-ur-uh) (Info)
Species: ficoidea (fy-KOY-dee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Snow Carpet

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By htop
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive barbur On Oct 10, 2006, barbur from Port Lavaca, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

These plants have grown beautifully in a difficult spot where they get no sun till noon then blazing hot sun the rest of the day. They are considered an annual but I have had them for about 3 years. They are in an area protected somewhat during our few freezes. Occasionally caterpillars eat on them.

Positive htop On Aug 21, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX
This plant is native to Brazil and the West Indies and is usually grown as an annual bedding plant (indirect bright light is best) or houseplant. In the house, be sure to give a lot of bright light and keep the soil moist. They are outstanding accent plants in containers and serve as low bed borders. The leaves are small, a light green and edged in white. Not only are they bullate (blistered, irregularly bumpy), they are concave or convex (cupped up or down)and even tightly twisted sometimes. It presents a domed, thick, compact and neat habit looking like a miniature shrub. Spaced close together, they would create a nice accent for darker colored plants in the background. Mine have been extremely slow growing; however, this is due in all probability to the fact that field rats ate them all the way to the soil level of the pots I had purchased in February before I could repot them. I planted them under an oak tree where they receive no direct sunlight and in front of a Brazilian plume flower. These two types of plants look great together (maybe because they both originated in Brazil!)

Unfortunately, they can not withstand cold temperatures (30 degrees is about it). They do well in zone 9b and above. In other zones, grow in containers so plants can be moved to a warmer location or cover in-ground plantings to protect from frosts or freezes. Like hosta, caterpillars, snails, slugs and pill bugs (mealy bugs) like to snack on the tender leaves.

I have not located any more of these plants in my area this year, but wish I could because they add color, shape and textural interest to my plantings.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lafayette, Louisiana
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Port Lavaca, Texas

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