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Acalypha integrifolia also known as Charles Wood, Wood bursting heart and Wood violin belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae

Image of Acalypha integrifolia plant at Google

Acalypha integrifolia which is also known as Charles Wood, Wood bursting heart and Wood violin belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It is a Monoecious shrub that can grow up to a height of 2 m. This is a medicinal plant and its Leaf is used to make decoctions and is drunk to treat intestinal worms.

The bark is brown to green cream in color. The leaves are alternate and simple that is inserted into a helix. The leaf has reddish veins and is acute at the top and about 1–9 mm in length with petiole that is about 2–20 mm. The margin is crenate and entire in nature and flowers are small and short. The fruit is in the form of a capsule which is deeply lobed. The branches are erect and spreading and glabrous. This shrub has multi flowers and lightly hairy. The seed is about 2.5-3mm in length and ovoid in shape and pale brown in color.

These species are found in Europe, in tropical Africa, in Madagascar and other Indian Ocean islands. The shrub is used for rheumatism, fever, syphilis, scabies, dysentery and venereal diseases. Its flexible stems are used to make baskets and fish traps and the stems yield a black dye.

This plant is used as a medicinal plant in West and East Africa. People in West Africa cook its leaves and eat as a vegetable. It is also fed to the cattle. It is used as a Siddha medicine to rejuvenate the body. 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. It is used as a houseplant and a vegetable.

Growing/Caring conditions for Acalypha integrifolia:
– 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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