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Acalypha wilkesiana

 
Acalypha wilkesiana

Synonym(s) Acalypha tricolor
Common name copperleaf; Jacob's coat
Family euphorbiaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z10-11)
Flowers burgundy
Size to 10'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes rich well-drained soil, not too dry

Native to islands in the South Pacific, copperleaf is only hardy in frost-free zones. The evergreen plant is grown for its boldly colored, large leaves, which in some cultivars is variegated in various colors and patterns. Ours, which didn't come with a name, has some subtle two-tone shading, but is mostly just a rich purple-bronze color. Flowers, burgundy catkins, are not very conspicuous among the leaves. Our plant was sold as an annual, but it makes for an expensive single-year plants. Some sources report that plants can establish in zone 9, so I will attempt, using a generous helping of mulch, to coax the roots through our winter.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: July 29, 2018
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