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Alternanthera sissoo - Hort.
Common Name Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. America - Brazil.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Brazilian Spinach. Alternanthera sissoo. Also known as Sissoo spinach, Brazilian spinach or Alternanthera sissoo, is commonly known as ground cover due to its fast-growing characteristic. Its leaves are edible, usually cooked by steaming or boiling and eaten as spinach. It grows about 30 cm high, prefers 50% or more shade, and can tolerate a wide range of pH soil conditions. Cultivation is through stem cuttings by simple layering. Other common name is Sambu or Samba lettuce.

Alternanthera sissoo Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce

© 2013 National Parks Board, Singapore
Alternanthera sissoo Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce
© 2013 National Parks Board, Singapore
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Alternanthera sissoo is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

None Known

Edible Uses
Leaves - cooked and used as a spinach[ 298 ]. The shoots are harvested when 15 - 25cm long - frequent harvesting stimulates new growth and increases overall yields[ 298 ].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
Other uses rating: Low (2/5). Agroforestry Uses: A fast growing, weed-excluding ground cover plant. Barrier.
Cultivation details
Plants can thrive in 50% or more shade. Prefers a well-drained soil with a high organic content[ 298 ]. A fast-growing, spreading plant, but it does not produce seed and is not considered to be invasive. The plant can suffer severe insect damage to the leaves in some areas[ 298 ].
Seed is not produced. Cuttings - very easy.
Other Names
Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce
Found In
Coming Soon
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.
Related Plants


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Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.
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Subject : Alternanthera sissoo  

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