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Acalypha godseffiana 'Heterophylla'

Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms: Acalypha wilkesiana var. godseffiana, Acalypha godseffiana var. heterophylla, Acalypha wilkesiana 'Fierstorm'
Common Name: Copper Leaf, Firestorm, Dwarf Acalypha, Match-me-if-you-can, Three-seeded Mercury, Jacobs Coat, Fire Dragon, Beefsteak Plant, 細葉鐵莧
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Ornamental Foliage Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Woody)
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 4 m


Native Distribution East Indies & the Pacific

Description and Ethnobotany

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.
Cultivation 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.
Etymology 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.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Red
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) White

Image Repository



Master ID 289
Species ID 1585
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.