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Acalypha fruticosa belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae and grows up to a height of 15-25m and forms a pure stand.

Image of Acalypha fruticosa plant at Google

Acalypha fruticosa belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It can grow up to a height of 15-25m and forms a pure stand. It is mostly found in East and southern Africa. Here it is used and eaten as a vegetable. It is fed to the sheep as fodder. This plant is used as a medicinal plant in the areas of East Africa and southern Africa. This plant’s stems are made as arrow shafts and beehive lids in northern Kenya. In Ethiopia, the dried leaves of this Acalypha are used for making tea. The plant is not found in humid central Africa areas.

It is also found in tropical Arabia, southern India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
In Ayurveda, it is used for treating stomach pain and dysentery. It grows up to a height of 15-25metres and is distributed on the river banks and floodplains.

The leaves are elliptic to ovate in shape and lanceolate about 10 × 5.5 cm with 3-5 veins which arise from the base. The leaves are thinly textured and slightly hairy to hairless on both sides and marginally toothed. The petiole is about 7cm in length. The stems are velvety. The flowers have axillary spikes and are about 3cm in length. They are held in bracts and have teeth on its margins about 4mm in length. They have greenish and yellow colored anthers. The fruits are 1.5 × 2.5 mm and smooth. They are 3 lobed and almost hairless.

This is a genus that is a subtribe of Acalyphinae. There are about 450-500 species of Acalypha are known. They are commonly known as copper leaves or three-seeded mercuries. These plants are tropical and subtropical in nature. Some of the species are extinct like stringwood.

It is used as a houseplant and a vegetable.

Growing/Caring conditions for Acalypha fruticosa:
– This plant can be propagated from cuttings.
– Take the cuttings in early spring using pruners.
– Cut about 3-4 inches tip in an angle about ½ inches.
– The cutting should be from below a pair of leaves.
– The stem cuttings should be kept cool and moist until planted.
– Put them in shade or in a damp place or wrapped in a damp towel.
– Put potting soil in a pot and dig a hole in the centre.
– Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone.
– Cut the leaves into half to avoid touching other leaves.
– Place the tray or the pot in a plastic bag for some time.
– Too much of sunlight needs to be avoided to burn the stem cuttings.
– Keep the soil moist and check everyday.
– When cuttings start to root, remove the plastic bag.
– Place them nicely into the pot or transplant it to a larger pot for it to grow wider.
– Place it outside once the danger of frost is passed.

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