Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Texas Chenille Plant, Cardinal's Feather, Cardinal’s Guard, Yerba de la Rabia
Acalypha radians

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Acalypha (ak-uh-LY-fuh) (Info)
Species: radians (RAD-ee-anz) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
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

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By frostweed
Thumbnail #1 of Acalypha radians by frostweed

By GD_Rankin
Thumbnail #2 of Acalypha radians by GD_Rankin

By GD_Rankin
Thumbnail #3 of Acalypha radians by GD_Rankin

By GD_Rankin
Thumbnail #4 of Acalypha radians by GD_Rankin

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Thumbnail #5 of Acalypha radians by GD_Rankin

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Thumbnail #6 of Acalypha radians by GD_Rankin

By GD_Rankin
Thumbnail #7 of Acalypha radians by GD_Rankin

There are a total of 8 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive frostweed On Aug 23, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Acalypha radians is Endemic to Texas and a very charming plant.

Positive GD_Rankin On Jul 11, 2006, GD_Rankin from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I agree with htop, this plant thrives in the fields around my place in areas that very little else will grow in during drought conditions. I personally think they're attractive and do my best to avoid them when mowing and shredding the fields. They are in full bloom this time of year and really put on a nice show when the sun is setting.

Positive htop On Sep 2, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Cardinal feather, sometimes called Texas Chenille plant, is a perennial native to the Texas Edwards Plateau south through the Texas Rio Grande Valley regions and northern Mexico. It is about 5 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Interestingly from April through November, there are male and female flowers which emerge on separate plants: although both plants have leaves that exhibit lobed margins and are sparsely covered with hairs, the female blossoms are thick spikes with red thread-like styles and the male blooms are long red spikes which typically are somewat thinner than the female's. Deer eat the leaves and the seeds are consumed by turkey and quail in the plant's native habitat.

The Texas chenille provides an answer to the question: "What does one plant in dry, rocky and/or deep clay soils besides cactus, Spanish daggers and century plants?" An excellent plant for rock gardens amd as a sunny area ground cover, it requires little water and can take the heat. Do not confuse the Texas chenille plant with the chenille plants usually grown in hanging baskets. Its flowers are not as large nor as "showy".


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

Arlington, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

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