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Three-seeded mercury, Bastard copperleaf
Acalypha chamaedrifolia
Euphorbiaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

It can be used in low densities as an understory herb in pine rocklands. It spreads readily from seed once established and can be considered one of the pioneers in pine rockland creations.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small prostrate wildflower with small leaves and inconspicuous flowers.
Dimensions:
About 2-4 inches in height. Spreading across the ground and forming small mats.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Monroe and Miami-Dade counties; West Indies. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key; also collected in Key West in the late 1800s.
Habitats:
Pine rocklands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Reddish.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous.
Flowering Season:
Spring-summer.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous 3-lobed capsule.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Plants of all sizes can be transplanted.
Comments:
It recruits readily from seed in the garden, but is not typically weedy.


 


Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer