Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Acalypha radians (Cardinal's feather)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Acalypha radians

Acalypha radians Torr.

Cardinal's Feather, Cardinal Feather

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov



Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Conditions Comments: Cardinal feather is a low, clump-forming plant that blooms nearly half of the year. The plants are either male or female flowers. The male flowers are found on long tubular spikes, while the female flowers grow on shorter spikes interspersed with green bracts. The stems are densely pubescent. Cardinal feather provides interesting texture in a planted garden, be careful however not to let larger plants crowd it. Requires good drainage. Best leaf color in full sun.


Use Ornamental: Good in rock gardens and sunny area ground cover.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal


Propagation Material: Softwood Cuttings
Description: If stock plants are kept in the greenhouse over the winter, plants can be cut back and cuttings can be taken at any time. Plants kept outside may not be well emerged by early April.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0135 Collected Sept. 17, 1991 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps
NPSOT 1107 Collected Jun 30, 1992 in Bexar County by Curt Walker

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1994 VOL. 11, NO.6 - Wildflower Center Featured Non-Profit in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, Dana Leav...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Acalypha radians in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Acalypha radians in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acalypha radians


Record Modified: 2023-04-03
Research By: TWC Staff, MWJ

Go back