Acalypha L.
  • Sp. Pl. 2: 1003. 1753. (1 May 1753)
  • Threeseeded mercury, copperleaf [Greek akalephe, stinging nettle, from a-, without, kalos, good, and haphe, touch, alluding to some species resembling Urtica (though not stinging)]


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Acalypha L. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-4000000080. Accessed on: 06 Jul 2020'

General Information

ACALYPHA L.

Por Geoffrey A. Levin

Hierbas anuales o perennes, arbustos o árboles pequeños, sin látex; plantas monoicas o menos frecuentemente dioicas. Hojas alternas, simples; estípulas mayormente pequeñas. Inflorescencias espigadas, racemosas o paniculadas, axilares o terminales, en Nicaragua unisexuales o andróginas (pistiladas abajo y estaminadas encima); flores estaminadas muy pequeñas, subsésiles, varias en la axila de una bráctea diminuta, lobos del cáliz 4, pétalos y disco ausentes, estambres generalmente 8, libres, anteras péndulas, vermiformes en la madurez; flores pistiladas 1–3 en la axila de una bráctea, lobos del cáliz 3–5, pétalos y disco ausentes, ovario (1–) 3-locular, 1 óvulo por lóculo, estilos connados cerca de la base, ramas de cada estilo generalmente disecadas en segmentos filiformes, flor (es) pistilada distal a veces diferente de las otras (alomórfica), frecuentemente ebracteada, ovario 1–3-lobado y estilo sub-basal. Fruto una cápsula (1–) 3-locular, cada segmento separándose y desprendiéndose de la columela persistente, fruto de las flores alomórficas un esquizocarpo profundamente lobado o indehiscente; semilla 1 por carpelo, ovoide, generalmente carunculada, variadamente labrada.

Género con ca 400–500 especies distribuidas en las Américas, Africa y Asia, principalmente en las regiones tropicales y subtropicales, algunas especies son cultivadas como plantas ornamentales; 17 (14 nativas) especies se conocen en Nicaragua y 3 más se esperan encontrar.

F.C. Seymour. Acalypha, Croton, and Sapium in Nicaragua. Phytologia 43: 133–195. 1979.

  • Provided by: [H].Flora de Nicaragua
    • Source: [
    • 13
    • ]. 

    Herbs, shrubs, or rarely trees; monoecious or dioecious; indumentum of simple hairs or glands. Leaves alternate, petiolate, stipulate; blades pinnately or palmately veined, undivided, entire or dentate. Inflorescences spicate, terminal or axillary; spikes unisexual or bisexual; c flowers several at each node, subtended by a minute bract; 9 flowers 1-3 at each node, subtended by a usually large foliaceous, lobed bract; the flowers apetalous, disc absent. Stamiinate flowers subsessile; calyx parted into 4 valvate segments; stamens 4-8, the filaments free or basally connate, the anther-sacs pendent, unilocular, elongated and vermiform; pollen grains oblate-spheroidal, 3-5 pseudoporate, tectate, psilate; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers subsessile (pedicellate in a few species); calyx-lobes 3-5, imbricate; ovary of 3 (rarely 1 or 2) carpels, the ovules solitary in each cell, the styles free or basally connate, several times divided into filiform segments (rarely bifid or entire). Fruits capsular, sometimes surrounded by the accrescent 9 bract; seeds ovoid, usually carunculate, smooth to pitted or tuberculate, endosperm present, the embryo straight.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora de Panama
  • Herb or shrubs [trees], annual or perennial, unarmed, monoecious or dioecious; hairs unbranched [stellate], sometimes glandular, or absent; latex absent. Leaves persistent or drought-deciduous, alternate, simple; stipules present, persistent or deciduous; petiole present, glands absent or present at apex, adaxial, inconspicuous [conspicuous]; blade unlobed, margins deeply serrate or crenate to subentire, laminar glands absent; venation palmate at base, pinnate distally [pinnate]. Inflorescences unisexual or bisexual (pistillate flowers proximal, staminate distal [staminate proximal, pistillate distal]), axillary or terminal, spikelike [paniclelike] thyrses; allomorphic pistillate flowers sometimes present; bracts subtending pistillate flowers enlarging in fruit [remaining minute]; glands subtending bracts 0. Pedicels: staminate present, pistillate absent [present], allomorphic present or absent. Staminate flowers: sepals 4, not petaloid, 1–2[–3] mm, valvate, distinct [connate]; petals 0; nectary absent; stamens 4–8, distinct; anthers elongated and twisted at maturity; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers: sepals 3 [or 5], distinct [connate]; petals 0; nectary absent; pistil (1–)3-carpellate; styles (1–)3, distinct or connate basally, usually multifid or laciniate, rarely 2-fid or unbranched, branches threadlike. Fruits capsules, allomorphic fruits achenes or schizocarps. Seeds ellipsoid to subglobose; caruncle present, sometimes rudimentary. x = 10.

  • Provided by: [I].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 16
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    Herbs, shrubs or trees, mostly monoecious, sometimes dioecious; indumentum of simple or sometimes gland-tipped hairs. Leaves alternate; stipules lanceolate or subulate, sometimes minute, deciduous; leaf blade simple, margins crenate or dentate, rarely subentire; venation pinnate or palmate. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, mostly unbranched, bisexual or unisexual, sexes very diversely arranged, mostly bisexual with male flowers in fascicles distally along slender axis, base with 1 to few female flowers, mostly enclosed within prominent leafy bracts. Male flowers sessile; sepals 4, valvate, membranous; petals absent; disk absent; stamens often 8; filaments free; anthers 2-locular, anther-thecae pendulous and vermiform; pistillode absent. Female flowers 1-3 per bract, often sessile; bracts often dentate or lobed, accrescent in fruit; sepals 3-5, shortly connate, imbricate; ovary (2 or)3-locular; styles mostly free, laciniate. Fruit a capsule 2- or 3-lobed, small. Seeds subglobose or ovoid, smooth; caruncle and aril absent.

  • Provided by: [J].Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 17
    • ]. 

    Hierbas o arbustos, monoicos o (menos frecuente) dioicos, con indumento de tricomas simples, la savia incolora o no evidente; estípulas presentes, lineares a lanceoladas u ovadas. Hojas alternas, el pecíolo sin glándulas o con 2 ó más glándulas en el ápice; lámina simple, no lobulada, entera o crenada a aserrada. Infls. bisexuales (con las fls. pistiladas proximales) o (usualmente) unisexuales, las masculinas axilares, espigadas, las femeninas terminales o axilares, espigadas, racemosas, paniculadas o de 1 fl. solitaria o varias fls. fasciculadas. Fls. estaminadas subsésiles, sostenidas por brácteas pequeñas e inconspicuas, sin disco; sépalos 4, valvados; pétalos ausentes; estambres 4–8, los filamentos separados o connatos basalmente; pistiloide ausente. Fls. pistiladas subsésiles o (a veces) pediceladas, usualmente sostenidas por brácteas foliáceas a menudo conspicuas, sin disco; sépalos 3–5, imbricados; pétalos ausentes; ovario liso o muricado, (1–)3-locular; óvulos 1 por lóculo; estilos separados o connatos basalmente, fimbriados o laciniados (raramente simples o bífidos). Frs. capsulares; semillas usualmente carunculadas, lisas (diminutamente foveoladas) o (A. polystachya) rugosas.

  • Provided by: [G].Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
  • "Monoecious; pet and disk none; staminate fls with 4 valvate sep and 4–8 stamens, the filaments slender, the anthers elongate and often curved or coiled; pistillate fls with 3(–5) sep; styles slender, elongate, irregularly branched or lacerate into filiform segments; capsule (1–)3-locular; seeds with a caruncle; herbs, shrubs, or trees with alternate, petiolate, stipulate, usually serrate lvs and minute fls in axillary or terminal, often conspicuous, racemiform condensed cymose infls, each fl or fascicle of fls subtended by a bract; our spp. annual herbs blooming from July to Oct., with staminate fls only 0.5 mm wide and aggregated into axillary heads or short spikes, the pistillate fls with initially small but rapidly accrescent bracts that equal or exceed the mature pubescent frs. 400, mostly New World."

  • Provided by: [K].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 20
    • ]. 

    Morphology

    Inflorescences various, terminal or axillary or both, uni- or bisexual, spicate, racemose or paniculate, the ♂ inflorescences axillary, slender and catkin-like but erect, the ♀ inflorescences axillary or terminal, most often spicate, rarely racemose or paniculate, the androgynous inflorescences axillary or terminal, spicate or rarely racemose, most often ♀ at the base and ♂ above (either with few ♀’s and many ♂’s or vice versa), less often ♂ at the base and ♀ above

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Male flowers very small, shortly pedicellate, glomerate in small, inconspicuous bracts

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Female flowers either sessile and 1–3(–5) within a variously toothed or lobed accrescent bract which becomes foliaceous, or else shortly pedicellate and solitary in the axil of a small, non-accrescent bract; allomorphic ♀ flowers often terminate the inflorescences in some annual species, or may be co-axillary with normal inflorescences in some other species

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Male flowers: calyx closed in bud, later valvately 4-partite; petals and disc 0; stamens usually 8, attached to the slightly raised receptacle, filaments free, broad, anther-thecae distinct, spreading or pendulous, oblong or linear, later becoming flexuous-vermiform; pistillode 0

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Monoecious or rarely dioecious annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or rarely trees, of varying habit, but often superficially resembling Urtica species

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Indumentum usually simple, rarely stellate (some S. American spp.), often glandular

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Leaves alternate, usually petiolate, stipulate, elobate, often ovate and toothed, palmi- or penninerved

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Allomorphic ♀ flowers ebracteate; calyx ± as in the normal ♀ flowers; ovary 1(–2)-locular; styles subbasal

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Fruits 3-lobed, small, soon dehiscing septicidally into 3 bivalved cocci

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Female flowers: calyx-lobes 3–4(–5), imbricate, small; petals and disc 0; ovary (2–)3-locular, with 1 ovule per locule; styles free or sometimes connate, usually laciniate, reddish and rather showy, rarely entire or bilobed

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Fruits of allomorphic ♀ flowers 1(–2)-lobed

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Seeds ellipsoid or subglobose, small, carunculate or not, testa crustaceous, albumen fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.

  • Provided by: [F].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Seeds ellipsoid or subglobose, small, carunculate or not; testa crustaceous; albumen fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Fruits 3-lobed, small, soon dehiscing septicidally into 3 bivalved cocci. Fruits of the allomorphic flowers 1(2)-lobed.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Male flowers: calyx closed in bud, later splitting into 4 valvate lobes; petals absent; disk absent; stamens usually 8 on a slightly raised receptacle, filaments free, broad, anther cells distinct, spreading or pendulous, oblong or linear, later becoming flexuous-vermiform; pistillode absent.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Allomorphic female flowers terminal, median or basal in the inflorescences of some species, ebracteate [as a rule, allomorphic female flowers consist of long-pedicellate or subsessile, ebracteate, 5-sepalous structures, each having only one unilocular ovary, the axis of which is turned through almost 180°, so that the single style is sub-basal, sometimes protruding between 2 of the sepals.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Female flowers: calyx lobes 3–4(5), imbricate, small; petals absent; disk absent; ovary 2–3-locular, with 1 ovule per loculus; styles free or connate, usually laciniate, reddish and rather showy, rarely entire or bilobed.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Indumentum simple (Old World) or stellate (New World), often glandular.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Monoecious, or occasionally dioecious, procumbent or erect, annual or perennial herbs or shrubs, often superficially resembling certain Urticaceae.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    As a rule, allomorphic female flowers consist of long-pedicellate or subsessile, ebracteate, 5-sepalous structures, each having only one unilocular ovary, the axis of which is turned through almost 180°, so that the single style is sub-basal, sometimes protruding between 2 of the sepals. Each flower thus produces only one single-seeded mericarp, which may or may not be provided with a dehiscence suture – see Radcliffe-Smith in Kew Bull. 28, 3: 525–529 (1974).

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Male flowers small, shortly pedicellate, glomerulate, usually subtended by inconspicuous bracts. Female flowers sessile or shortly pedicellate, solitary or 3–5 together, subtended by conspicuous accrescent foliaceous or inconspicuous bracts. Allomorphic female flowers terminal, median or basal in the inflorescences of some species, ebracteate .

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Inflorescences terminal, axillary or both, unisexual or bisexual, spicate, racemose or paniculate.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Leaves alternate, petiolate or subsessile, stipulate, sometimes stipellate, simple, crenate or serrate, palmi- or penninerved.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Habit

    Herbs, shrubs, or rarely trees

  • Provided by: [D].Flora de Panama
  • Distribution

    A homogeneous genus of some 400 species, the majority American.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora de Panama
  • Literature

    SELECTED REFERENCES Levin, G. A. 1995. Systematics of the Acalypha californica complex (Euphorbiaceae). Madroño 41: 254–265. Levin, G. A. 1999. Evolution in the Acalypha gracilens/monococca complex (Euphorbiaceae): Morphological analysis. Syst. Bot. 23: 269–287. Levin, G. A. 1999b. Notes on Acalypha (Euphorbiaceae) in North America. Rhodora 101: 217–233. Miller, L. W. 1964. A Taxonomic Study of the Species of Acalypha in the United States. Ph.D. dissertation. Purdue University. Radcliffe-Smith, A. 1973. Allomorphic female flowers in the genus Acalypha (Euphorbiaceae). Kew Bull. 28: 525–529.

  • Provided by: [I].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 16
    • ]. 

    Included Species

    Synonyms

    Other Local Names

    NameLanguageCountry
    Threeseeded mercury, copperleaf [Greek akalephe, stinging nettle, from a-, without, kalos, good, and haphe, touch, alluding to some species resembling Urtica (though not stinging)]

      Bibliography

     Information From

    Euphorbiaceae
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    MBG Floras Images
    http://www.tropicos.org/ImageSearch.aspx
    Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora de Panama
    http://www.tropicos.org/Project/PAC
    Robert E. Woodson, Jr. and Robert W. Schery Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 67, No. 4 (1980), pp. ii-xxxiii
    • D Missouri Botanical Garden
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • E
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • F
    Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
    http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Costa%20Rica
    Hammel, B. E.; Grayum, M. H.; Herrera, C.; Zamora, N. Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2003-2014
    • G Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora de Nicaragua
    http://www.tropicos.org/projectwebportal.aspx?projectid=7&pagename=Home&langid=66
    WD Stevens, CU Ulloa, A Pool and OM Montiel. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2001
    • H Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • I Flora of North America Association
    Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • J Missouri Botanical Garden
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • K Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • L CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).