Acalypha californica 2715 ucla09.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subtribe: Acalyphinae
Genus: Acalypha
A. californica
Binomial name
Acalypha californica

The flowering shrub Acalypha californica is known as the California copperleaf, and sometimes by the older name Pringle three-seeded mercury. It is the only Acalypha species native to California, where it is most abundant in the hills of San Diego County. It is a member of the chaparral plant community.

The plant bears hairy, juicy, toothed leaves which despite the plant's common name are light green, never copper in color. Each flower is made up of a staminate part, which appears as a long spike of tiny red and pink bracts, and a pistillate part at the base of the spike, which is a cup made up of green bracts bearing the ovary.


  1. ^ Bentham, George (1844). "175. Acalypha californica, sp. n.". The Botany of the Voyage of H.M.S. Sulphur. London: Smith, Elder and Co. pp. 51–52.

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