Wild Tea is a shrub growing up to 2.5 m tall. Its
leaves are alternately arranged, with blades that are elliptic to
obovate, and toothed along the margins. The bisexual spike bears female
flowers subtended by large bracts with toothed margins at the lower
end, and male flowers subtended by minute bracts towards the tip.
Flowering occurs almost throughout the year from January to November.
The globose to oblate fruits are trilobed and covered with spines.
Dispersal of Acalypha species has not been well studied, but the
typical explosively dehiscent fruits in the family Euphorbiaceae and
the spines on its fruits suggest that Acalypha siamensis may spread
mechanically and/or by animals. Wild Tea is found in Thailand, Vietnam,
Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Sulawesi.
Identification credit: S. Kasim
Photographed in Tamil Nadu.
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The flower labeled Siamese Acalypha is ...