A genus of tropical shrubs that are grown entirely for the attractiveness of the leaves excepting A. Sanderi, which has long, cylindrical,. pendulous flowers and is very ornamental. The acalypha is grown largely in Europe as an ornamental stove plant, but with us its chief value is as a summer bedding plant for mixed borders or subtropical beds. As most all the species are from the tropical islands of the Pacific, their requirements can be judged accordingly.
The most economical way to produce plants for spring use is to lift a few old plants before any danger of frost. These could be used for decorating till January, then shorten back the shoots, and if the plants are in a strong heat they will soon give you a number of young growths, which root readily in the sand in a good bottom heat and by end of May, if kept warm, will be just what you want for planting out in spring. A well enriched loam is all they want. A few of the most desirable varieties for subtropical bedding are: Triumphans, light red shaded darker; Bicolor compacta, bright green margined and blotched with yellow; Marginata, dark olive and rose; Miltoniana, bright green edged white.
Sanderi is the species grown both for a bedding plant and for conservatory decoration. When in fine condition its long, pendant, rope-like, bright red flowers make it a most unique and attractive plant. For pot culture it must be kept shifted or it will soon become shabby. Propagate this species from half ripened wood during winter.