Copperleaf

Acalypha hispida(Euphorbiaceae)

Characteristics

Evergreen shrub, up to 3 m tall. Closely arranged stem with many branches. Both branches and leaves are covered in fine hairs. Leaves coppery green with red splashes, flat or crinkled, with teeth around the edge, 10-20 cm long and 15 cm wide. Monoecious (separate male and female flowers on the same plant).

Distribution

Native to the Pacific Islands. In tropical and subtropical America, Copperleaf is a popular outdoor plant. In some areas, it is also grown indoors. However, it must be maintained in a warm, humid, bright environment.

Natural Medical Properties

The roots and flowers, fresh or in decoction, are considered a remedy for haemoptysis.
The leaves are used to treat thrush.
A poultice of the leaves is used in the treatment of leprosy.
Internally, it is used as a laxative and diuretic in treating gonorrhoea.
The bark is applied as an expectorant in the treatment of asthma.

Did you know?

An ointment made of Copperleaf is used to treat fungal skin diseases in conventional medicine.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species