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PlantFiles: Lance Copperleaf, Jacob's Coat, Fire-Dragon, Match-Me-If-You-Can, Irish Petticoat
Acalypha wilkesiana

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acalypha (ak-uh-LY-fuh) (Info)
Species: wilkesiana (wilk-see-AY-nuh) (Info)

Synonym:Acalypha amentacea
Synonym:Acalypha tricolor

One vendor has this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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8 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive hortims On Sep 10, 2011, hortims from Sacramento, CA wrote:

Started growing this plant this year, and I love it! In Sacramento shade is a must, morning(cool) sun is good too.. I am growing them in containers and I do keep them moist. They respond well to fertilizer and cuttings are like coleus, pretty easy. I really enjoy the foliage and plan on bringing them indoors for the winter.

Positive zak1962 On Aug 24, 2009, zak1962 from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

I've used this plant as an annual here in Pittsburgh, PA (zone 6a) for several years now. This year I coupled it with my Acapulco Salmon & Pink Agastache to great effect. If you enjoy plantings that are tonal in nature, this is a perfect pairing! I've included a picture to the right to demonstrate just how beautifully they work together.

Positive peggy53wahoo On Nov 17, 2008, peggy53wahoo from Asheville, NC wrote:

I overwinter cuttings inside because this is one of my favorite summer container plants -- it plays well and dramatically with just about anything and unlike coleus and perilla, it does not "fade" or get leggy (easily pinched to control height) in the autumn. Just love it! Very nice with cigar plant (cuphea), calico ivy, purple angelonia and asparagus fern.

Positive crowellli On Jul 19, 2006, crowellli from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have several of these and love them. They don't have any pest or disease problems and can take sun or shade. The tops get a bit singed in a freeze, but I trim them back and they've come back bigger each year for three years. They do tend to require daily watering until new plants get the roots established, but after that they are very tolerant of high heat and humidity.

Positive jmorth On Oct 29, 2005, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

It only grows successfully in the garden during the summer, otherwise, it is on houseplant status

Positive artcons On Mar 25, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Here in S Florida I have seen these 15' or better. In my yard I have several of each (general) color which I keep at about 8'. Great for use in hiding an ugly section of yard you don't want seen. I have had leaves to 15" in length and 10-12 inches in width. I also have one that is both green and red/maroon. This one is in full sun. I have several in shade and they still do well, not as tall as in the ones in the sun. If you are looking for spectacular showy plant with great color, these have it.

Positive htop On Oct 25, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
The copper leaf is a plant that adds interesting color wherever it has been planted. The variations of the foliage color provides interest. The leaves turn more coppery the more sun they receive. In filtered or partial shade, the leaves have more purple, mauve, and pink tones. The blooms when drying hang down looking like yarn in the late summer and fall. An easy to grow, carefree plant that has provided me much enjoyment through the years.

Positive suncatcheracres On Sep 14, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I grew this plant in St. Petersburg, Florida (zone 9b) for almost ten years. It is easy from cuttings. I had it in a very sunny spot, but it was partially shaded by 10-15' tall Dwarf Brazilian bananas and papayas.

I also had various colored cannas and zebra plants in that bed, so it was all very tropical looking. Everything froze down during harsh winters, but I had every thing well mulched, so they all came back by mid-Spring.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 26, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Best foliage color in full sun. Soils must be kept consistently moist. If soils dry out, rapid leaf drop usually occurs. Stems may be pinched to control size and shape and to promote bushiness. Take tip cuttings in late summer to overwinter.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Vincent, Alabama
Encinitas, California
San Diego, California
Vista, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Hollywood, Florida
Indialantic, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake Panasoffkee, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Miami, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Oakland, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida (3 reports)
Palm Harbor, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida (2 reports)
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Divernon, Illinois
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Charleston, South Carolina
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Anahuac, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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