Acalypha hispida

Acalypha hispida Burm. f.

Common Names: Chenielle Plant, Red Hot Poker, Red Hot Cat Tail

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Habit: Acalypha hispida grows as a shrub to 3 m in heigh.  The leaves are arranged alternately, to 20 cm in length, 3-5 nerved, ovate, with a serrate/dentate leaf margin and an acute/acuminate leaf apex. The petioles are up to half the length of the blade. The adaxial leaf surface can be slightly pubescent.

Acalypha hispida is dioecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary catkins with bracts throughout. In staminate flowers the perianth has 4 green fused at the base tepals, 8 stamens and no carpel and appearing axillary.  Carpellate flowers are reduced to a densely pubescent, bright red, perianth bract, no stamens and a superior ovary with 3 locules and seeds and appearing terminally. The stigmas are long and bright red. The fruit is a smooth, 3 lobed capsule.

Habitat: Acalypha hispida grows Human Altered environments (yards and gardens).

Distribution: Acalypha hispida is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur in the northern island groupings.  It is native to Indonesia and New Guinea and is grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Acalypha hispida is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

It is grown as an ornamental for its showy red hanging inflorescences.