This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(from J. Dalechamps, French savant of sixteenth century). Euphorbiacese. Climbing or rarely erect tropical shrubs; one rarely cultivated in warmhouses for its ornamental bracts.
Leaves alternate, simple; stipules large: flowers small, monoecious, apetalous, in dense clusters, with 2 conspicuous, colored involucral bracts; calyx valvate; styles united; ovules 1 in each of the 3-4 cells. - About 60 species scattered through the tropics. Plukenetia, a related genus, is without the large involucre.
Dalechampia Roezliana was described by Hooker in 1867 as one of the noblest plants introduced for many years, comparable with the bougainvilleas and surpassing them in size of bracts and brilliancy of color. It is not so fine a florists' plant as the poinsettia, but is worth trial in the finer conservatories. It requires well-drained sandy, peat soil, and is propagated by cuttings.
Erect shrub, 3-4 ft. high, much branched, leafy: leaves 6 in. long, sessile, obovate-oblanceolate, acuminate, entire, or with coarse, obtuse teeth above the middle, narrowed to a small cordate base: bracts 2-2 1/2 in. long, broadly cordate, nearly sessile, toothed, membranaceous, distinctly nerved, rose-red, other smaller bracts among the small yellow flowers; stamens united. Mex. B.M. 5640. H.F. II. 11:234, pi. 8. Gt. 16:532. F.W. 1867, p. 318. F.M. 7:373, 374. F.S. 16:1701-2. G.C. 1867:236, desc. variety alba, Hort., has white bracts.
J. B. S. Norton.