Evergreen foliage plants are wonderful in the garden, because they give you stunning colour all year round. Many plants with brilliantly coloured leaves belong to the family Amaranthaceae. They include the popular bloodleaf (Iresine herbstii) with its bright red leaves, and Alternanthera dentata, the plant shown in our segment, which has beautiful burgundy leaves.
Common name: Ruby leaf alternanthera
Botanic name: Alternanthera dentata
Description: A low growing perennial herb from the West Indies and Brazil with attractive burgundy leaves. In winter the flowers appear in whitish to creamy clusters, surrounded by small bracts with finely lacerated tips. The plant is mainly grown for its coloured foliage effect and is often trimmed back to remove the flowers.
Best climate: A. dentata does best in the warmer areas of Australia. In cooler zones grow in a sheltered position and protect from frost.
foliage contrast plant silver/burgundy garden colour schemes tall ground cover low hedge deep burgundy leaves provide year round colour
Care: Plant in partial shade to full sun, in moist, well-drained soil. Lightly trim the bush in winter to remove the flowers and encourage dense, compact growth.
Plants in 140mm (5 1/2″) pots cost from $3.80-$6.50. A. dentata also grows readily from cuttings.
Our segment was filmed at Impact Plants, Poole Close, Empire Bay, NSW, 2257. Phone: (02) 4369 1422.