Acalypha ornata Hochst. ex A. Rich.

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Acalypha ornata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mahenye Village.

Acalypha ornata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Between Livingstone Statue and Devil's Cataract viewpoint, Victoria Falls

Acalypha ornata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Between Livingstone Statue and Devil's Cataract viewpoint, Victoria Falls

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Acalypha moggii Compton
Acalypha swynnertonii S. Moore
Common names: Mukunyukunyu (Shona) Zambezi false-nettle (English)
Status: Native
Robust woody herb, shrub or even a small tree, up to 5 m tall, sometimes climbing. Young stems often hairy and purplish. Leaves elliptic-ovate to ovate, up to 16 × 10 cm, 5-7-veined from the base, thinly textured, hairless to sparingly hairy on both surfaces, often hairy on the midrib and veins below; margin toothed; petiole 2-15 cm long. Flowers unisexual in separate inflorescences, usually on the same plant, rarely on different plants. Female inflorescence a terminal spike, up to 19 cm long; flowers singly held in cup-shaped bracts with long glandular-toothed margins. Male inflorescences axillary, up to 12 cm long, densely-flowered; flowers minute, green, flushed pink or reddish.. Fruit 3 × 4 mm, 3-lobed, slightly, pubescent near the apex.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In dense riverine vegetation, swamp forest, Acacia and mopane woodland near rivers or on termite mounds, often on sandy soils.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1700 m
Flowering time:Nov - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Widespread from Nigeria to Eritrea and south to Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 14 February 2016

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 252.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 88. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 40.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 47.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 60. (Includes a picture).

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Pages 193 - 194.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 55.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 84.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 206.


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Other sources of information about Acalypha ornata:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Acalypha ornata
Flora of Caprivi: Acalypha ornata
Flora of Malawi: Acalypha ornata
Flora of Mozambique: Acalypha ornata
Flora of Zambia: Acalypha ornata

External websites:

African Plant Database: Acalypha ornata
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Acalypha ornata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Acalypha ornata
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Acalypha ornata
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Acalypha ornata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Acalypha ornata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Acalypha ornata
Ispot Southern Africa : Acalypha ornata
JSTOR Plant Science: Acalypha ornata
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Acalypha ornata
Tropicos: Acalypha ornata
West African Plants database: Acalypha ornata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Acalypha ornata., retrieved 27 May 2016

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