Calico Plant, Joseph's Coat (Alternanthera ficoidea)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers


Calico Plant, Joseph's Coat
Alternanthera ficoidea

Alternanthera 'Purple Knight'
Alternanthera 'Purple Knight'
A garden annual grown for its colorful foliage. Habit can range from small mound shaped plants to tall hedge-like plants. Foliage is glossy and colors range from yellow to red to burgundy. Good for containers or as a border edging plant. 
Full sun and miost well-drained soil 

'Purple Knight' 18-24 inches tall, burgundy foliage

'Wavy yellow' 6-12 inches tall, narrow gold splashed foliage

'Red Coat' 10-14 inches tall, multicolored foliage

'Threadleaf Red' 10-14 inches tall, narrow scarlet foliage

'Party Time' 10-14 inches tall, multicolored foliage

'Broadleaf Red' 6-12 inches tall, apple green leaves with red stripe

Mature Height
6-24 Inches
Annual Hardiness Type
Tender Annual
Bloom Color
Not of Interest
Bloom Season
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Pests and Problems

Environmental Damage

Additional pests and problems that may affect this plant:

None serious
Additional Notes
Grown best in soils that are not overly fertile. Occasional pinching or shearing can keep plants in bounds and almost hedge-like. Useful for 'carpet bedding'


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
Illinois Commercial Landscape and Turfgrass Pest Management Handbook
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic