Acalypha amentacea circinata (Müll.Arg.) Fosberg
Acalypha amentacea wilkesiana (Müll.Arg.) Fosberg
Acalypha chantrieri André
Acalypha compacta Guilf. ex C.T.White
Acalypha godseffiana Mast.
Acalypha hamiltoniana Pynaert
Acalypha illustris Pax & K.Hoffm.
Acalypha macafeeana Veitch
Acalypha macrophylla Van Geert
Acalypha marginata (Mill.) J.J.Sm.
Acalypha morfontanensis Chantrier ex André
Acalypha musaica auct.
Acalypha torta Pax & K.Hoffm.
Acalypha tricolor Seem.
Acalypha triumphans L.Linden & Rodigas
Ricinocarpus wilkesianus (Müll.Arg.) Kuntze
One of the many variegated forms of this plant
Photograph by: Frank Vincentz
Acalypha wilkesiana is an erect or spreading, evergreen, often suckering shrub that can grow 2 - 4 metres tall, occasionally to 6 metres[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and as a medicine. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant, being especially valued for its wide range of variegated cultivars, and is also often grown as a hedge.
The bark has been used as a poison[
Western Pacific - Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
Edges of forests and along the sides of roads; at elevations from 400 - 450 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Prefers a moist, average to moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade[
]. The best foliage colour is produced when growing in full sun[
]. Soils must be kept consistently moist, if they dry out then rapid leaf drop usually occurs[
A widely cultivated ornamental plant, it often escapes from cultivation and has become established in disturbed sites in many areas[
In areas without a pronounced dry season the plant can flower and produce fruit all year round[
Plant size can be easily controlled by cutting back, or by pinching out the shoot tips to promote bushiness[
Young shoots, without the flowers, are eaten as a cooked vegetable[
The plant is abortifacient, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and antinematodal[
]. The leaves are squeezed into water and the resulting juice is drunk as a treatment for diarrhoea and dysentery[
]. The juice of fresh leaves is drunk as a treatment for laryngitis[
]. They are chewed on as a first-aid treatment for a ruptured appendix[
]. The fresh shoots are squeezed into water and the solution drunk to regulate menstruation and as an abortifacient[
]. (Presumably this last treatment is a much stronger juice than that used for diarrhoea[
Applied externally, the leaves and young shoots are used to treat skin rashes[
]. The leaves are boiled in water and used as a massage for patients with fevers[
]. The fresh, leafy branches are applied externally in order to induce perspiration, apparently for their rubefacient effect[
The fresh young leaves, combined with the leaves of Ocimum basilicum, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Euodia hortensis, are placed in a bowl of hot water and the vapour released is breathed in to bring relief from pneumonia, malaria, pain and fever[
An infusion of the leaves and bark is drunk as a treatment for pleurisy[
Plants respond very well to cutting back and can be grown as dense ornamental hedges[
Cuttings of young shoots[
]. Rooting takes place within 4 weeks at 22°c[
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