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With adequate food and water Acalypha ‘Macrophylla’ is outstanding
Fijian fire plant – how to grow Acalypha and its many cultivars
The name Acalypha comes from the Greek akalephes – a nettle. The genus includes some 450 to 460 species. Wilkesiana commemorates Rear Admiral Charles Wilkes, an American Naval Officer who explored the South Pacific during the late 1830s and early 1840s.
Despite their great diversity, the plants we grow are not hybrids, but are cultivars of one species,Acalypha wilkesiana. What’s more, recent research suggests they may represent mutations of a single or limited number of clones. Cultivated acalyphas, like many other popular foliage plants from the Pacific region, seem to be quite unstable and prone to throwing up branches of differing colour or shape. Occasionally they revert back to the parent plant, giving us an idea of their origins, but more rarely they throw up something entirely new. So keep your eyes open, as you might have something very special in your own garden.
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