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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 3/20/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 3/20/2013)
Genus Acalypha L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 1003, 1753
Reference Gen. P1. ed. 5, 436, 1754.
Description Herbs, shrubs, or rarely trees; monoecious or dioecious; indumentum of simple hairs or glands. Leaves alternate, petiolate, stipulate; blades pinnately or palmately veined, undivided, entire or dentate. Inflorescences spicate, terminal or axillary; spikes unisexual or bisexual; c flowers several at each node, subtended by a minute bract; 9 flowers 1-3 at each node, subtended by a usually large foliaceous, lobed bract; the flowers apetalous, disc absent. Stamiinate flowers subsessile; calyx parted into 4 valvate segments; stamens 4-8, the filaments free or basally connate, the anther-sacs pendent, unilocular, elongated and vermiform; pollen grains oblate-spheroidal, 3-5 pseudoporate, tectate, psilate; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers subsessile (pedicellate in a few species); calyx-lobes 3-5, imbricate; ovary of 3 (rarely 1 or 2) carpels, the ovules solitary in each cell, the styles free or basally connate, several times divided into filiform segments (rarely bifid or entire). Fruits capsular, sometimes surrounded by the accrescent 9 bract; seeds ovoid, usually carunculate, smooth to pitted or tuberculate, endosperm present, the embryo straight.
Habit Herbs, shrubs, or rarely trees
Distribution A homogeneous genus of some 400 species, the majority American.
Note The greatest concentration of species is in the Caribbean region, but Panama is rather poorly represented. In addition to the nine native species enumerated below, at least one other is represented by a single c collection from Darien (Rio Balsa, Duke 8795, MO). Although its identity is uncertain in the absence of 9 flowers, it may prove to be A. cancana Muell.-Arg. (in DC., Prodr. 15(2): 869, 1866), described from northwestern Colombia. The plant resembles A. macrostachya but is easily distinguished by its more velutinous pubescence and more slender c' spikes. Cultivated plants of A. 'wilkesiana Muell.-Arg. and A. hispida Burm. f. may be found in the Canal Zone and elsewhere, but neither species appears to have become naturalized.
Key a. Pistillate flowers pedicellate, the minute subtending bracts not becoming foliaceous (subg. Linostachys) b. Pistillate inflorescences terminal, paniculate; leaves without resinous dots beneath ........... 1. A. costaricensis bb. Pistillate inflorescences axillary, racemose; leaves with minute resinous dots beneath . ................ 2. A. villosa aa. Pistillate flowers sessile, the subtending bracts becoming conspicuous and foliaceous (subg. Acalypha) c. Herbs or shrubs; female bracts with rounded to acute or short-acuminate tips. d. Shrubs; spikes all axillary. e. Leaves palmately veined at base; 9 bracts with 10-25 acute lobes, subtending solitary flowers; spikes mostly unisexual. f. Pistillate spikes with 15-65 bracts; 9 bracts in fruit 5-8 mm long, shallowly toothed (lobes cut ca 1/3 to 1/5 way to base); 8 spikes 3-5 mm thick; capsules smooth -------- 3. A. macrostachya ff. Pistillate spikes with 1 or 2 bracts; 9 bracts in fruit 4 mm long, more deeply toothed (lobes cut ca 1/2 way to base); 8 spikes less than 2 mm thick; capsules verruculose ........... 4. A. leptopoda ee. Leaves pinnately veined; 9 bracts subentire, subtending 2 or 3 flowers; spikes mostly bisexual, with 1 or 2 9 bracts at Ease; capsules verruculose ........... . 5. A. diversifolia dd. Herbs; female spikes terminal, 8 axillary; 9 bracts obtusely 5-7 lobed -----------.-..............------.-...-.-6. A. septemloba cc. Herbs; female bracts 3-12 lobed, the lobes terminating in long green aristate tips. g. Pistillate or U spikes terminal (at least in part); leaves acuminate. h. Pistillate bracts 2-flowered, glabrous; styles laciniate; seeds 2.5-2.8 mm long; stipules at least 10 mm long .. 7. A. polystachya hh. Pistillate bracts 1-flowered, densely hispid; styles unbranched; seeds 1-1.1 mm long; stipules less than 2 mm long 8. A. alopecuroidea gg. Spikes all axillary; leaves acute stipules 1.5-2.5 mm long; 9 bracts 1-flowered, hispid; styles 3-5-lobed .... ................... ......... 9. A. arvensis
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