Pilea microphylla

Pilea microphylla (L.) Leibm.

Common Names: Lace Plant, Artillery Plant, Rock Weed, Gun Powder Plant

Family: Urticaceae

Habit: Pilea microphylla grows as an erect, fleshy, clumping, red tinged herb. The leaves are arranged oppositely in unequal pairs, obovate to oblong obovate, to 9 mm in length, with an entire leaf margin, obtuse/rounded leaf apex and tapered leaf base.

Pilea microphylla is mono or dioecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, flowers are in leaf axils. The pedicellate staminate flowers reduced to 4 tepals and 4 stamens with no ovary. The sessile carpellate flowers reduced to 3 tepal bracts, no stamens, and a superior ovary with 1 locule and ovule. The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Pilea microphylla grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, roadsides, walls, rock crevices).

Distribution: Pilea microphylla occurs in the central and northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the Caribbean region, the southern United States, Mexico, Central and northern South America as well as central and southern Africa. It now occurs throughout Africa, Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Europe.

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

It has been used elsewhere in a variety of illnesses and health problems.