18. Acalypha wilkesiana Müller Argoviensis in A. Candolle, Prodr. 15(2): 817. 1866.
红桑 hong sang
Shrubs, 1-3 m tall, monoecious. Young branchlets pubescent. Stipules narrowly triangular, ca. 8 mm; petiole 2-3 mm, pilose; leaf blade broadly ovate, 10-18 × 6-12 cm, often colored or red- or purple spotted, abaxially pilose along veins, base obtuse, margin coarsely crenate, apex acuminate; basal veins 3-5. Inflorescences axillary, unbranched, unisexual. Male flowers 9-17, glomerate; inflorescences 10-20 cm, pilose; bracts lax, ovate, ca. 1 mm; pedicel ca. 1 cm; sepals 4, ovate, ca. 0.7 mm; stamens 8. Female flowers 1(or 2) in each bract, sessile; inflorescences 5-10 cm; peduncle ca. 2 cm; bracts broadly ovate, ca. 5 × 8 mm, 7-11-serrate; sepals 3 or 4, ovate-lanceolate, 0.5-1 mm, ciliate; ovary pubescent; styles 3, 6-7 mm, 9-15-laciniate. Capsule ca. 4 mm in diam., sparsely villous. Seeds globose, ca. 2 mm in diam., smooth. Fl. year-round.
Cultivated in gardens, parks; below 200 m. Most provinces of S China [widely cultivated as an ornamental; native to Melanesia].
Some cultivars of Acalypha wilkesiana are recognized, most notably ‘Marginata’ (金边红桑 jin bian hong sang), cultivated in S China, with leaf blades ranging to ovate-rhombic, red to pink at the margin.