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Genus :

ACALYPHA

Family :

EUPHORBIACEAE

Description


Herbs, shrubs or small trees, perennial or annual, monoecious. Leaves alternate, palmatinerved, petiolate; stipules minute, setaceous.  Inflorescences axillary or terminal spikes panicles, unisexual or bisexual, when bisexual  sexes are diversely arranged, males in slender dense-flowered spikes, with one or a few female flowers at base. Male flowers: minute, with or without bracts; calyx closed in bud, splitting valvately into 2-4 segments; petals and disc absent; stamens many, rarely up to 12; filaments free; pistillode absent. Female flowers: 1-4 in each bract; sepals 3-4, imbricate, shortly connate; ovary (2- ) 3-loculed, each one-ovuled; styles free or basally connate, conspicuous, laciniate.  Fruits capsular, (2-) 3-locular, with crustaceous cocci, enclosed in accrescent subtending bracts; seeds smooth to pitted or tuberculate.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Inflorescences unisexual; plants monoecious or dioecious; shrubs 2
1b. Inflorescences usually bisexual; plants monoecious; herbs or shrubs A. indica
2a. Female spikes elongated, pendulous; bracts small, entire, ca. 1 mm; plants dioecious A. hispida
2b. Females spikes less than 10 cm; bracts 3-5 mm, denticulate or serrate; plants monoecious A. wilkesiana