Alligator Weed

Botanical  Name : Alternanthera philoxeroides
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Alternanthera
Species: A. philoxeroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Name : Alligator weed,Gator Grass

Habitat : It originated in South America, but has spread to many parts of the world and is considered an invasive species in Australia, China, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.Alligator weed is an emersed plant. It can grow in a variety of habitats, including dry land, but is usually found in water. It may form sprawling mats over the water or along shorelines.

Description:
It is an immersed aquatic plant.
Alligator weed can grow in a variety of habitats, including dry land, but is usually found in water. It may form large interwoven mats over the water or along shorelines. Alligator weed stems are long, branched, and hollow. Leaves are simple, elliptic, and have smooth margins. Alligator weed flowers during the warm months of the year and has whitish, papery ball-shaped flowers that grow on stalks.

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Sprawling herb, usually in water, often in row crops and gardens. Stems pinkish, can become hollow when larger, to 1 m (3.3 ft) long.

Leaves: Opposite, narrowly elliptic or spatulate, to 9 cm
(3.5 in) long; occasionally a few indistinct teeth on margin.

Flowers: Reduced, bisexual in round white heads on long stalks from upper leaf axils; each flower with 4–5 thin, papery bracts, 5 stamens, 1 pistil.

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Fruit: Tiny, one-seeded, thin-walled.

Click to see more pictures :

When alligator weed invades waterways it can reduce water flow and quality by preventing light penetration and oxygenation of the water. It can also reduce water bird and fish activity and cause the death of fish and native plants. Alligator weed mats create a favorable habitat for breeding mosquitoes. Alligator weed is also difficult to control.

Insects have been released for the biological control of alligator weed. The most successful and widely used is Agasicles hygrophila commonly called the alligator weed flea beetle; it has been released for biocontrol in Australia, China, Thailand, New Zealand and the United States. Amynothrips andersoni, the alligator weed thrips, and Vogtia malloi, the alligator weed stem borer, have also been released in the United States.

Medicinal Uses:

You may click to see:
*Effects of Alternanthera philoxeroides Griseb against respiratory syncytial virus infection in mice :

*Effects of Alternanthera philoxeroides Griseb against dengue virus in vitro :

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternanthera_philoxeroides
http://www.plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=alph_002_avp.tif
http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/33
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.eppo.org/QUARANTINE/Alert_List/invasive_plants/Alternanthera_philoxeroides.htm

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