Alternanthera caracasana, Khaki Weed
Scientific Name: Alternanthera caracasana
Common Name: Khaki Weed
Also Called: Mat Chaff-flower, Washerwoman
Family: Amaranthaceae, Pigweed Family
Synonyms: (Achyranthes peploides, Achyranthes repens, Alternanthera peploides, Alternanthera pungens, Alternanthera repens)
Size: Up to 3 feet.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; heavily stemmed, woody root, spreading along the ground (procumbent), forming mats.
Leaves: Bright green; opposite, glabrous, leaves variable, oval or obovate with short sharp flexible point, paired leaves of unequal size throughout, petioles, clasping.
Flower Color: Whitish, yellowish or straw colored, mostly inconspicuous; sepals only, lanceolate, sharp pointed, sessile in axillary spikes, flowers surrounded by conspicuous white bracts.
Flowering Season: Summer.
Elevation: 2,500 to 5,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Generally waste places.
Recorded Range: Khaki Weed is an introduced species found in the southern part of the United States in; AL, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NM, OK, SC and TX. It is also introduced in Baja California and northern and central Mexico and Hawaii. It is native to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Central and South America.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Alternanthera caracasana.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Alternanthera caracasana is listed as a Noxious Weed by the state of Arkansas. Plants included here are invasive or noxious.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Comments: Khaki Weed is low growing, mat forming resilient species with whitish flowers and conspicuous white bracts tightly tucked in among leaf axils. It is distinctive and conspicuous, almost striking with its bright green leaves of varying shape and size. It is generally listed as a weed, a noxious weed in Arkansas, often found growing in disturbed areas and a variety of habitats.
Khaki Weed is similar is appearance and habitat to another member of the Amaranth family, Small Matweed, Guilleminea densa, also an Amaranth found in Arizona.