Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Acalypha fruticosa Forssk., Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 161. 1775; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 415. 1887.

Eng.: Birch-leaved Acalypha; Kan.: Chinni; Mal.: Kuppameni, Sinnimaram; Tam.: Aathathazhai, Cini, Sinni; Tel.: Chinni.

Shrubs or undershrubs, 0.5 - 2.5 m high, with waxy glands; branchlets finely pubescent; young parts greyish puberulous. Leaves ovate-oblong, rounded, acute to obtuse at base, serrate to crenate along margins, acute, acuminate or sometimes obtuse or subobtuse at apex, 1.5 - 5 x 1.5 - 3.5 cm, membranous to chartaceous, pilose or pubescent on both sides, with yellowish glands beneath; basal nerves palmate, 2 - 4 pairs; lateral nerves 2 - 4 pairs; petioles 1 - 2.5 cm long; stipules subulate or linear, up to 2 mm long; Spikes axillary or terminal, 1 - 5 cm long, arising singly, paired or 3 together from above the scars of fallen leaves. Male flowers: many, clustered along the spikes, followed by sterile flowers; pedicels up to 0.3 mm long, pubescent; sepals 4, ovate-lanceolate, ca 0.5 mm long, pubescent; stamens 10 - 15; filaments ca 0.2 mm long; anthers vermiculiform, 0.3 - 0.5 mm long. Female flowers: 2 - 3 mm across, few at the very base of the spike or in separate small clusters resembling few-flowered spikes in the axils of young leaves; bracts leafy, folded, dentate along margins, 5 - 6 mm across, glandular, 1- or 2- flowered; sepals 3, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 0.7 - 1 mm long, pubescent; ovary 2 - 3 mm across, glandular, pubescent; styles 3, filiform, laciniate, up to 1 cm long. Capsules ovoid, trilobed, 3 - 4 mm across, tomentose; seeds subglobose or ovoid, ca 2 mm across, smooth.

Fl. & Fr. Feb. - Aug.

Distrib. India: Commonly seen in rocky soil along hill slopes and roadsides. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Tropical Africa, Arabia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Java.

Uses. The leaves are alternative and agreeable stomachic in dyspepsia and other ailments.


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