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Herbarium specimen. Copyright DERM

Acalypha lanceolata

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Botanical Name

Acalypha lanceolata Willd.

Willdenow, C.L. von (1806) Species Plantarum Edn. 4 4: 524. Type: J.Burman, Thes. Zeylan.: 205 (1737) t.93,fig.2.

Stem

Erect sparsely branched annual herb up to 60 cm tall with cylindrical green stems.

Leaves

Leaf blades 35-80 x 16-56 mm, petioles 20-80 mm long. Leaf surfaces clothed in hairs. Oil dots readily visible with a lens. Stipules 0.5-4 x ca. 0.1 mm, broad at the base but narrowed to an acuminate tip. Lateral veins 4-5 on each side of the midrib. Margins toothed with 16-22 teeth on each side.

Flowers

Inflorescence up to 25 mm long, racemes consists of male flowers in the upper part and female flowers in the lower part. Male flowers: Flowers ca. 0.1 mm diam. Tepals about 0.3 mm long. Stamens ca. 0.4 mm long. Female flowers: Flowers ca. 1 mm diam. surrounded by deeply lobed bracts ca. 1.5 mm long. Tepals ca. 0.4 mm long. Ovary densely clothed in hairs. Styles lacinate, ca. 1 mm long. Ovules one per locule.

Fruit

Fruits 3-lobed, depressed-globose, 1.5-2 x 2-3 mm, clothed in long translucent hairs and subtended by a large leaf-like bract.

Seedlings

Seeds globose to ovoid, 1.1-1.8 x 0.8-1.1 mm, faintly patterned and light brown. Embryo about 1 mm long, radicle shorter than the cotyledons or as long as the cotyledons.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ as far south as Proserpine. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 760 m. Grows in vine forest but also in various types of woodland and grassland. Widespread in the palaeotropics including the Philippines and New Guinea.

Natural History

Becomes a weed of cultivation (Foster 1994).

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)

X

RFK Code

4053