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Useful Tropical Plants

Pilea microphylla

(L.) Liebm.

Urticaceae

+ Synonyms

Adicea microphylla Kuntze

Chamaecnide microphylla Nees ex Miq.

Dubrueilia microphylla (L.) Gaudich.

Parietaria microphylla L.

Pilea muscosa Lindl.

Pilea portula Liebm.

Pilea serpyllacea (Kunth) Liebm.

Pilea succulenta Hook. f.

Pilea trianthemoides microphylla (L.) Wedd.

Urtica herniarifolia Willd.

Urtica microphylla (L.) Sw.

Urtica portulacoides Spreng.

Urtica serpyllacea Kunth

Common Name: Artillery Plany

Pilea microphylla
Flowering plant, showing dense growth habit
Photograph by: Andres Hernandez S.
Creative Commons License
Pilea microphylla Pilea microphylla Pilea microphylla

General Information

Artillery plant is an evergreen, ground-covering annual to short-lived perennial plant forming a dense mat of growth around 30cm high and up to 60cm wide[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
,
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].
The plant is somtimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. An attractive plant with its fern-like appearance, it is often grown as a ground-cover in ornamental gardens and is also grown as a house plant in cooler zones.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
468
Title
The Bahama Flora
Publication
 
Author
Britton N.L.; Millspaugh C.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Britton N.L.; Millspaugh C.F., New York.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical description, often accompanied by the plants habitat, of the Flora of the Bahamas.

Range

S. America - throughout, except for Chile, Uruguay; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean - Trinidad to the Bahamas and southeast N. America.

Habitat

On walls and in waste, rocky places in Bermuda[
468
Title
The Bahama Flora
Publication
 
Author
Britton N.L.; Millspaugh C.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Britton N.L.; Millspaugh C.F., New York.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical description, often accompanied by the plants habitat, of the Flora of the Bahamas.
]. Moist or wet, shaded banks, often on old walls of masonry or adobe, or in moist soil about dwellings, frequent among cobblestones of streets; at elevations up to 1,600 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Annual/Perennial
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a position in partial shade[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
]. Requires a moist but well-drained soil, and can tolerate short periods of soil inundation[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
,
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
]. Tolerant of a range of soil types[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].
Male flowers explosively discharge pollen into the air, hence one of the common names for this plant of 'artillery plant'[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

An infusion of the entire plant is used as a diuretic[
345
Title
Minor Products of Philippine Forests
Publication
 
Author
Brown. W. H.
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry, Manilla.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A useful guide to some of the plants of the area, though terse on details. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from the Internet.
].
The crushed leaves are applied commonly to sores and bruises to heal them[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Agroforestry Uses:

In its native habitat, the plant may spread to as much as 60cm wide and is sometimes massed in tropical gardens as a ground cover[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -
Stem tip cuttings root easily[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].

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