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Acalypha virginica

Previously known as:

  • Acalypha digyneia
Phonetic Spelling
ak-uh-LY-fuh vir-JIN-ih-kuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Virginia Copperleaf is a summer annual weed in the spurge family, but unlike many members of the Euphorbiaceae family, its stems do not exude the milky sap of many other spurges. It is found in disturbed areas, meadows, fields, woodlands and shores of rivers or lakes. Although it is considered a weed, it isn’t invasive, and is considered a native plant. Management includes hand weeding by pulling up the taproot and applying mulch. Birds eat the seeds in fall and winter and deer browse the leaves possibly leaving other plants alone.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#summer annual weed#NC native#deer browsing plant#wind pollinated#FACU#warm season weed#native weed#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#summer annual weed#NC native#deer browsing plant#wind pollinated#FACU#warm season weed#native weed#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acalypha
    Species:
    virginica
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Eastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    USA: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV Canada: ON
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds eat the seeds and deer browse the leaves.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    3-celled seed capsule with each cell of the capsule containing a single ovoid-oblongoid seed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers grow from the hairy bracts in the leaf axil. Bracts are green, hairy, and palmately lobed (10-15 lobes) with hairs along their margins. Within each bract, a spike-like thyrse of staminate flowers develops. Spike is 3/4 inch long and individual flowers are less than 1/8 inch. 1-3 sessile pistillate flowers also form within the bract and are largely hidden from view. Each pistillate flower is about ΒΌ" across. Pollinated by the wind.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are medium green and up to 3" long and 1" across. They are lanceolate and crenate with widely spaced blunt teeth to nearly smooth. The upper surfaces are sparsely canescent, sparsely covered with appressed hairs, or hairless. They grow closer together at the top of the stem giving it a flat-topped look. Young leaves are brown/copper.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The mostly unbranched erect stems are light to medium green, terete, and moderately covered with hairs
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingesting sap or juice can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or dermatitis.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    .
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Sap/Juice