Information & resources about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
 

 

Acalypha wilkesiana

and other Acalypha species

Family: Euphorbiaceae


Grown for their colorful foliage, these shrubs come in an amazing range of leaf colours and shapes. Often seen surviving in old gardens in Queensland, which indicates how tough and drought-tolerant they can be, but suitable for modern landscapes because of their sustained, vibrant colour.

Use as an informal hedge, or in mixed shrub border. Often seen in nurseries these days are finer-leaved, dwarfer varieties which can be used en masse as large groundcovers.

Cut back once a year in spring (just before summer growth comences) to keep to desired size and bushiness. Otherwise, very easy to look after.

While the flowers of A. wilkesiana have insignificant flowers, there are other species in the genus such as Acalypha hispida which are grown promarily for their showy inflorescences. You may have difficulty finding some of these in the marketplace in Australia.


Where to buy Acalyphas

Acalypha wilkesiana varieties in a range of leaf colours and shapes are generally available in Queensland garden centres.

While the grouncover A.reptans is sometimes available in garden centres, unfortunately, the editor doesn't know of any commercial outlets of the large cat's tail-type Acalypha hispida. If you operate a nursery supplying these plants in Australia, perhaps you can get in touch? For native Acalypha species, try a native plant nursery.

More Online Information


Acalypha wilkesiana

Synonyms: A. godseffiana, Acalypha amentacea subsp. wilkesiana
Common names: Acalypha, Fijian Fire Plant, Beefsteak Plant, Copperleaf Plant
Acalypha wilkesiana Copperleaf. University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Copper Plant Acalypha amentacea ssp. Wilkesiana. Texas A&M University
Acalypha amentacea Copperleaf. Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Acalypha wilkesiana 'Marginata' Pacific flora database of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, USA
Acalapha wilkesiana, "Match-me-if-you-can" The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Virtual Tour of the AOS Garden \ Formal Lawn Includes notes on Acalypha wilkesiana `Raggedy Ann' (`Razzle Dazzle'). American Orchid Society, Florida
Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana) at Flowers of India
Copperleaf green (Acalypha wilkesiana) at Flowers of India
Acalypha amentacea Roxb. ssp. wilkesiana "Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability", United Nations University Press


One of the older Acalypha varieties (probably 'Marginata'). Although less flamboyant than some of the newer types, this would make a easy-to-grow informal screen or background plant. Left: Growth habit of shrub. Right: Leaf detail


Some more examples of the variety of foliage patterns and colours among the acalyphas:


Acalypha hispida

Common names: Cat's Tail, Red Hot Cattail, Chenille Plant
Acalypha hispida Pacific flora database of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, USA
Acalypha hispida University of Florida (PDF)
Cat's Tail Acalypha hispida at Flowers of India
Chenille Plant, Acalypha hispida University of Wisconsin-Extension Master Gardener Program
Acalypha hispida Chenille Plant. Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Red-Hot Cattail (Acalypha hispida) at the "A Yard In Fort Pierce" blog
What are all Those Red Cats Doing in That Bush? (Acalypha hispida) Hawaii Horticulture

Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Acalypha hispida in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental
Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Acalypha hispida in Florida. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental

Photo credit: Forest & Kim Starr
Acalypha hispida as a cut flower in Hawaii. Image courtesy Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental


Acalypha chamaedrifolia

Synonyms: A. reptans, A. repens
Common names: Kitten's Tail, Trailing Chenille Plant, Dwarf Chenille Plant
Acalypha pendula Trailing Chenille, Dwarf Chenille. Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Acalypha pendula University of Florida (PDF)
Kitten's Tail (Acalypha pendula) Whatcom County Extension, Washington State University

Acalypha reptans
Acalypha chamaedrifolia synonym Acalypha reptans


Other Acalypha species

The Genus Acalypha Gardening in the Coastal Southeast (Florida)
Acalypha nemorum (Hairy Acalypha) Save Our Waterways Now, Brisbane
Acalypha nemorum (Hairy acalypha, southern acalypha) Brisbane Rainforest Action & Information Network
Acalypha eremorum (Soft acalypha, turkey bush) Brisbane Rainforest Action & Information Network
Acalypha capillipes (Small-leaved acalypha) Brisbane Rainforest Action & Information Network

More information and ideas for using Acalypha coming to this page in future updates. If you're responsible for promoting new Acalypha varieties in Queensland, please please get in touch about advertising your plant on this page.

Possible Misspellings: Acalipha, Acalypher
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