Description from Flora of China
Telanthera bettzickiana Regel, Ind. Sem. Hort. Petrop. 1862: 28. 1862; Alternanthera ficoidea (Linnaeus) R. Brown var. bettzickiana (Regel) Backer; A. ficoidea var. versicolor (Lemaire) L. B. Smith & Downs; A. versicolor (Lemaire) Regel; T. ficoidea (Linnaeus) Moquin-Tandon var. versicolor Lemaire.
Herbs perennial, 20-50 cm tall. Stem erect or creeping, much branched, apical part quadrangular, basal part cylindric, hairy at apex and nodes. Petiole 1-4 mm, slightly hairy; leaf blade green or red, or tinged red or yellow, oblong, oblong-ovate, or spatulate, 1-6 × 0.5-2 mm, hairy when young, glabrescent, base acuminate, margin undulate, apex acute or obtuse, with a mucro. Heads 2-5, terminal or axillary, 5-10 mm, sessile. Bracts and bracteoles ovate-lanceolate, 1.5-3 mm, abaxially glabrous or long hairy, apex acuminate. Tepals white, ovate-oblong; outer segments 3-4 mm, densely hairy; middle segment shorter, pilose or glabrous; inner segment short, narrow, pilose or glabrous. Stamens 5; filaments 1-2 mm; anthers linear; pseudostaminodes fasciated, 3-5-parted at apex. Ovary glabrous; style ca. 0.5 mm. Fruit undeveloped. Fl. Aug-Sep.
One of us (Clemants) indicates that this is best treated as Alternanthera ficoidea var. bettzickiana.
Cultivated in nearly all the large cities of China [native to South America; cultivated throughout SE Asia].