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Genus Acalypha Family Euphorbiaceae

Description: Shrubs or small trees, often pubescent, hairs simple; monoecious or dioecious.

Leaves alternate, margins crenate or toothed.

Inflorescence axillary, variable, unisexual [or bisexual], male inflorescence spike-like, female flowers clustered, 1–4 within a ± rounded bract. Male flowers small; perianth segments 4; stamens usually 8, anthers with free, twisted loculi. Female flowers with 3–5 perianth segments; ovary 2- or 3-locular, each loculus with 1 ovule; styles branched.

Fruit a small lobed capsule within persistent bract.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 450 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 3 species, Qld, N.S.W.

Text by T. A. James & G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Shrubs, erect or prostrate2
Herbs 10–50 cm highAcalypha australis
2Leaves and stems hairy, mostly densely so; veins prominent3
Leaves and stems glabrous or almost so; veins obscure, not impressed
                       Back to 1
Acalypha capillipes
3Leaves 2–12 cm long with 8–10 lateral veins per side of midrib; spreading shrubAcalypha nemorum
Leaves 0.3–3.5 cm long with 5–7 lateral veins per side of midrib; virgate shrub
                       Back to 2
Acalypha eremorum

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