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November 2011
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Alchornea is a monoecious or dioecious shrub that belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae.

Image of Alchornea plant at Google

Alchornea is a monoecious or dioecious shrub that belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. Almost 70 tropical species are known of this genus. The leaves are alternate and simple and petioles are short to long. The petioles are round and pulvinate basally. The blades are ovate and the leaves are needle like and erect. The margin is serrate and lower surface is more hairy and terminally inflorescent. The flowers are symmetric and sessile and sepals are glaborous and hairy outside. The fruits are deeply lobed into three capsules and seeds are ellipsoid and ridged inside.

Usually the Leaf and the Bark is used for medicines. Alchornea is used for its wood for fuel. Its leaves are used as Vegetable and its seeds are used as a purgative. The leaves are used for cigarette paper. This tree provides food, rubbers, medicinal compounds, oils, dyes and many other useful products.

The Species include are:
– Alchornea castaneifolia
– Alchornea cordifolia
– Alchornea floribunda
– Alchornea glandulosa
– Alchornea hunanensis
– Alchornea latifolia
– Alchornea leptogyna
– Alchornea mollis
– Alchornea perrieri
– Alchornea sodiroi
– Alchornea triplinervia

Growing/Caring conditions for Alchornea:
– This plant can be propagated from seed.
– Scarify the seed coat by rubbing the seeds on sandpaper.
– Soak the seeds in hot water so that they swell.
– If stratification is done by placing the seed in moist towel, stratify for about 6 weeks.
– Sow the seeds and cover them will soil.
– Expose them to the indirect light.
– This plant needs low grade soil.
– Once the plants are large enough to handle, transplant them.
– Plant in spring.
– This plant need full sun and a sheltered position.
– This plant does not require pruning.
– This plant can grow in hardy zones of USDA 6.
– Maintain the night temperatures to 55°F or above.
– Add a slow release organic fertilizer for good growth.
– Keep the seeds moist until germination.
– Mulch the plant in early season.
– The plants should be watered around the soil to ensure soil to root contact.
– This plant needs moderately fertile and well drained soil.
– The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.
– The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.
– Mulch with a 2-inch layer of bark or gravel mulch around the base for the plant to retain moisture and to keep the roots damp.
– Maintain evenly moist soil.

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