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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Acalypha

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Malpighiales > Family: Euphorbiaceae

About 430 species, worldwide distribution in warm regions, with 28 species native to southern Africa and an additional five species that are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Acalypha acrogyna

Native from Ethiopia southwards to Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique.

Acalypha allenii
Acalypha amentacea

[= Acalypha wilkesiana]

Recorded from Mozambique.

Acalypha ambigua  
Acalypha angustata  
Acalypha capensis
Acalypha caperonioides
Acalypha chirindica

Native to Tanzania, southern DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe and northern Mozambique. See African flowering plants database,

Acalypha ciliata

See Flora of Zimbabwe.

Acalypha crenata  
Acalypha depressinerva  
Acalypha ecklonii  
Acalypha fimbriata
Acalypha fruticosa  
Acalypha glabrata  
Acalypha glandulifolia  
Acalypha indica
Acalypha lanceolata

Recorded from Mozambique.

Acalypha ornata
Acalypha peduncularis  
Acalypha polymorpha

Native from Cabinda and Kenya southwards to southern Angola, Zimbabwe and northern Mozambique. See African Flowering Plants Database

Acalypha pubiflora
Acalypha punctata  
Acalypha racemosa

Native from West Africa and Ethiopia southwards to Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique. See African Flowering Plants Database, Flora of Zimbabwe

Acalypha segetalis  
Acalypha sonderiana  
Acalypha villicaulis
Acalypha wilmsii  
Acalypha welwitschiana

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Acalypha godseffiana

Native to Polynesia.


Acalypha hispaniolae

Native to Haiti and Dominican Republic.


Acalypha hispida

Native to Malaysia and New Guinea.


Acalypha manniana

Native to tropical Africa


Acalypha wilkesiana (Beefsteak Plant, Copperleaf, Jacob's Coat)

Native to the Pacific Islands.

Acalypha wilkesiana


  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.