Help! Our income has dropped considerably for several months and unless it improves soon we will be in financial difficulty. More >>>

Follow Us:


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
Alternanthera sissoo Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce

© 2013 National Parks Board, Singapore
Alternanthera sissoo Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce
© 2013 National Parks Board, Singapore

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.


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.

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

If available other names are mentioned here

Brazilian Spinach, Sambu, Samba lettuce

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


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.

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Alternanthera sissoo  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.