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Acalypha wilkesiana

Common Name(s):

  • Cooperleaf
  • Copper Plant
  • Jacob's Coat
Phonetic Spelling
ack-a-LIE-fa wil-KEH-see-a-na
Description

A fast-growing tropical evergreen shrub native to Fiji and neighboring South Pacific islands.  It has 4 to 8 inch heart shaped leaves that come in a variety of mottled color combinations of green, purple, yellow, orange, copper, crimson, pink, or white.  The genus name Acalypha comes from the Greek name for nettles because of the nettle-like appearance of the leaves.  The specific epithet references Charles Wilkes.

Requires consistently moist, well-drained soil or leaf drop will occur.  Great accent in containers, most commonly grown as a houseplant or in a hanging basket or patio container that can be brought indoors over the winter.  Separate male and female flowers appear on the same plant, male spikes long and hanging with female spikes short.  Stems may be pinched to control size, shape, and promote bushiness.

Cultivars:
  • 'Blackie'
  • 'Margarita'
  • 'Tricolor'
Tags:
#purple#tropical#white#evergreen#sun#full sun#houseplant#annual#summer#variegated#orange#perennial#green#shrub#container plant#crimson#copper#interiorscape#variegated foliage#variegated leaves#low maintenance#patio#summer bloom
Cultivars:
  • 'Blackie'
  • 'Margarita'
  • 'Tricolor'
Tags:
#purple#tropical#white#evergreen#sun#full sun#houseplant#annual#summer#variegated#orange#perennial#green#shrub#container plant#crimson#copper#interiorscape#variegated foliage#variegated leaves#low maintenance#patio#summer bloom
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acalypha
    Species:
    wilkesiana
    Family:
    Euphorbiaceae
    Synonyms:
    Acalypha tricolor
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Fiji and South Pacific Islands
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Capsule containing hard seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    8-inch slender spikes of insignificant green or red flowers. Separate male and female flowers appear on the same plant. Male spikes are long and hang, female spikes are short.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Striking copper-green leaves splashed with red and cream.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants