Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Acalypha wilkesiana

Müll. Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15 (2):817. 1866

Copperleaf, Jacob's coat

Monoecious shrub, to 2.5 m tall; stems sparsely pubes­cent in age, the young parts densely pubescent. Leaves alternate, simple; petioles to 7 cm long, with a broad band of trichomes above near apex; blades ovate-cordate, abruptly acuminate, 10-25 cm long, 8-15 cm wide, den­tate with gland-tipped teeth, maroon beneath, sparsely pubescent on veins; veins at base 5, palmate. Spikes axillary, 6-20 cm long,   3-8 mm wide, reddish, the pistil­late bracts 5-6 nun long, divided almost to base, purple­-violet; pistil to 1 mm long, 1.2 mm wide; styles 3, free, purple-violet, to 5 mm long, each with numerous filiform. segments. Fruits not seen. Croat 8658.

Cultivated in the Laboratory Clearing. Flowers in the dry season.

BCI plants would be best considered var. macageana W. Miller.

Native to the Pacific Islands (Standley, 1928); culti­vated throughout the world.