Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 06, 2015

From: West Columbia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Searching for Acalypha amentacea ssp. wilkesiana (copperleaf)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Some species of Acalypha are natives, but the one I'm looking for is Copper Plant or Acalypha amentacea/wilkesiana. Can you give me a source where I can order seed? When I was kid working at a local nursery here in West Columbia, TX these were quite popular, but I've not seen them in years.

ANSWER:

The species that you are looking for, Acalypha amentacea ssp. wilkesiana (Wilke's acalypha or copperleaf), is not native to North America.  It does occur in Florida as as a naturalized, introduced species but it is native to Fiji and other Pacific Islands.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden and Floridata.

Our Native Plant Database shows 10 species of Acalypha that are native to North America with Texas having 8 of those.  Only one of those eight is shown to be commercially available, Acalypha radians (Cardinal's feather).  You can see the native Acalypha species on our Native Plant Database by entering "Acalypha" in the Name slot on the search page.  You can then limit the 10 species to only those native to Texas by selecting "Texas" in the Select State or Province slot in NARROW YOUR SEARCH in the sidebar.

To search for nurseries or seed companies who might have the native species available for sale you can visit our National Suppliers Directory.  To find nurseries and seed companies in Texas, first click on the List all Suppliers link, then enter "Texas" into the Enter the Location slot. 

To find your non-native species you will need to look at nurseries that sell introduced cultivars.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cardinal's feather
Acalypha radians

Cardinal's feather
Acalypha radians

More Non-Natives Questions

Is there a purple passion hibiscus?
May 27, 2009 - Hello! I bought a climbing vine in a hanging basket that looks like a passion flower vine to me. However, I was told that it was a "purple passion hibiscus." I cannot find such a flower on the inter...
view the full question and answer

Strange produce from non-native lemon seed in Houma LA
April 03, 2010 - I grow a lemon tree from a seed. I grafted it from the same tree a year or so later. It is 15 years old and it only produce one year. The question is, the year it produce, the fruit was a pink grap...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Lorapetalum chinense from Driftwood TX
March 16, 2012 - In a previous response you said that it would not be wise to plant any trees with the word Chinese in it. Does this apply to Lorapetalum (Chinese Fringe Flower)? I would like to use this plant as a ...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
April 24, 2012 - What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Actaea simplex in Washington State
September 07, 2008 - I have a Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' that I planted in mid August 2007 in a partial, almost full shade spot. This year it came back , but the foliage is brown with dark and light green a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.