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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Acalypha neomexicana - New Mexico copperleaf

Other Common Names: three seeded mercury
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Euphorbiaceae

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Max Licher @
Flower remnants
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Stems are slender and erect or ascendingly branched.
Identification notes: Annual. Stem erect; leaf petioles slender, 3/8 to 1-1/4 inches long; leaves 3/4 to 2-1/2 inches long with serrate edges often tinged with red. Flowers are male or female; female flowers terminal; male flowers axillary; flower petioles 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches.
Height: 16 inches


Habitat Description: Can be found on benches of stream beds. Prefers moist or shaded areas but can also be found along roadsides, in ditches and on over-grazed land.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 2500 - 7500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Purple and red     Shape: Inconspicuous in elongated clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Aug - Oct
Description: Stamens and pistals in separate flowers in terminal and axillary spikes. Stamens to 1/4 inch long. Terminal pistillate to 2 inches long. Has 3 compact, distinctive red, thread-like styles. Bracts beneath pistillate flowers often appear purplish.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Light green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Stipulate. Leave stalks are 3/8 to 1-1/4 inches long. Leaves are from 3/4 to 2-1/2 inches long by 1/4 to 1-1/4 inches wide.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Gray or brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Very small, 1/16 to 1/4 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. Bristled towards the apex.
Seed Notes: Ovoid, less than 1/8 inch long. Gray or brown and finely pitted. 3 seeds per capsule.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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