Acalypha peduncularis

Botanical name

Acalypha peduncularis

Other names

Brooms and brushes; Acalypha caperonioides; A. punctata; usununundu (Zulu)

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Dimensions

Perennial, dioecious, multistemmed herbaceous plant of up to 40 cm in height

Description of stem

Several erect stems emerge from the base; green when young, turn reddish

Description of leaves

Ovate to broadly lanceolate; three or more prominent veins emerge from the base; the margins are toothed or serrated; apex sharply pointed; leaf somewhat folded in along the central vein; leaves sparsely haired on both surfaces

Description of flowers

On male plants many erect, pinkish-brown racemes occur, up to 12 cm in length, later may become pendulous; small, densely clustered flowers, whitish or cream anthers when open, no petals; female plants have singular or paired terminal red to white flowers consisting of a group of erect, thin red styles

Desciption of seed/fruit

Three-lobed small capsule, about 4 mm in diameter

Description of roots

Branched rhizome

Variation

 

Propagation and cultivation

Grown from seed

Tolerances

 

Uses

Used in gardens for herbaceous borders; used in treatment of chest complaints and coughs

Ecological rarity

Common

Pests and diseases

 

Other

 

Location

Grassland, sour grass, disturbed veld, prominent after veld fires

Distribution (SA provinces)

Gauteng; North West; Kwazulu-Natal; Eastern Cape

Country

South Africa; Zimbabwe; Swaziland; Mozambique

Botanical Gardens