|Plant Morphology :
Growth Form: A fast-growing, clumping, medium-sized to tall shrub that is often grown for its beautiful foliage of juxtaposing dark green leaves with striking pink margins.
Foliage: Leaves simple, alternate, dark green, narrowly elliptic, with pink, wavy or toothed margins.
Stems: Stems woody, brown; young stems pale green with a tinge of pink, herbaceous
Flowers: Inflorescences inconspicuous, pinkish green, in axillary spikes, up to 18 cm long; flowers white, corolla absent; calyx small; sepals inconspicuous; male spikes generally with more flowers; female spikes with less flowers, each of which is borne in a bract.
Fruits: Fruits in a form of capsules.
It can take full sun or partial shade but requires the former to develop vibrant colours on foliage. Specimens grown under shade will not be as colourful. A fast-growing shrub, it likes well-drained soil with regularly sprinkled with organic matter. Careful and occasional pruning is required to prevent them from becoming leggy. Propagate by cuttings, which can be done with ease.
The genus epithet 'Acalypha' was indirectly named by a Greek physician (ca. 460 - 370 B.C.), who was known as the 'father of medicine' and gave the name 'acalephe' to a nettle he described. It was then transferred by latter-day botanists to this group of plants in the spurge family, which means 'a stinging nettle', in reference to the irritating sap produced by plants of this genus. The species epithet 'godseffiana' honours after Joseph Godseff (ca. 1846 - 1921), a plant collector for the English nursery trade. Its cultivar epithet derives from two Greek words 'heteros', meaning 'different', and 'phylla' meaning 'leaves', in reference to its greatly erratic formation of irregular, shaggy, wide to narrow leaves displayed on each plant.
|Ethnobotanical Uses :