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Acalypha hispida

Family Name: Euphorbiaceae
Synonyms: Acalypha sanderi
Common Name: Chenille Plant, Red Hot Cat's Tail, Red Cattail, Ekur Kuching, Buntut Kucing, Cat's Tail
Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Lots of Water Moderate Water Hanging Basket Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Semi-Annual / Annual-Like
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Malesia and New Guinea
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Erect, rough textured shrub which is able to grow up to about 1.5 - 3.5 m tall and 1 - 2 m wide.
Foliage Simple, alternate leaves measuring about 10 - 20 cm long and 7 - 10 cm wide. 
Flowers Male and female red flowers on separate plants, clustered in catkins and measuring up to 40 cm long.
Etymology Genus name Acalypha comes from the Greek word akelpe, which means unpleasant to touch.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Container Planting, Hanging Basket
Usage Hazard - Cons Toxic Upon Ingestion

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Lots of Water, Moderate Water
Potential Problems Spider mites, mealy bugs and scale insects may be a problem.
Propagation Method Stem Cutting, Leaf Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Image Repository



Master ID 290
Species ID 1586
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.