Acalypha hispida

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Acalypha hispida Burm.f.
  • Common Name : Bilad punch, Cat's Tail
  • Plant Family : Euphorbiaceae
  • Plant Form : Shrub
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 11, 18, 21, 23
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Ayurvedic Udyan, Van Chetana Kendra

About Acalypha hispida Plant :

  • Habit : A small, Dioecious shrub.
  • Leaves : Broadly oval, pointed, serrate cordate, green.
  • Inflorescence : Long, drooping spikes or catkins of bright - red colour up to 18 inches long containing numerous minute flowers.
  • Flowers :
    • The plant is dioecious which means the male and female flowers are borne on separate plants.
    • The female flowers are purple, bright red or crimson coloured and clustered in velvety catkins.The flowers themselves are very small, mostly just feathery pistils, but are tightly packed along the raceme to form the furry catkin, like a cat's tail. The male flowers are not showy, so the plants grown as ornamentals are all females.
  • Fruits : A small capsule with 3 round, white seeds.
  • Flowering and Fruiting time : Throughout the year when the temperature is warm enough.
  • Significance :
    • Cultivated in gardens as a beautiful pot plant.
    • The flower is believed to stop bleeding and is laxative and diuretic.