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California Copperleaf
Acalypha californica
  
About California Copperleaf (Acalypha californica) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant The flowering shrub Acalypha californica is known as the California copperleaf, and sometimes by the older name Pringle three-seeded mercury. It is the only Acalypha species native to California, where it is found from the Peninsular range foothills hills into the lower desert of San Diego County. It is a member of the chaparral plant community and most often grows in crumbling granite rocks, ledges and cliff faces, though it occasionally grows in sand washes. The plant bears beautiful light green serrated leaves with wavy hairy edges. Younger leaves tend to have pink or red edges. Older leaves turn pinkish or copper-colored in summer months. Stems are white, pink or red. Flowers appear as bumpy pinkish red spikes, sometimes with white speckles, growing out from the base of the leaf stems. It typically grows in a rounded mounding form. Beautiful plant but difficult to find in nurseries.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
1.5 - 3 ft tall
5 ft wide

Form
Form
Mounding

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Slow

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
None

Flower Color
Flower Color
Pink, Red, White

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Winter, Spring

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL
*
Orthonama obstipata Image
The Gem Orthonama obstipataOrthonama obstipata

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Extremely Low, Very Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 30° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast

Soil Description
Soil Description
Typically decomposed granite or sand. Soil PH: 6.0 - 8.0

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. (Emery and Frey 1971).

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Near the coast it is often found in conjunction with oak woodlands. Inland it is found in desert transition chaparral near granite rocks, ledges and cliffs, and in sandy washes of desert canyons at the base of granite boulders as part of Creosote Bush Scrub or Alluvial Fan Scrub

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 4.1" - 17.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.18" - 1.40", Coldest Month: 46.0" - 54.9", Hottest Month: 70.1" - 86.4", Humidity: 1.15" - 37.29", Elevation: 27" - 2564"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Pringle Three-seeded Mercury, Pringle Threeseeded Mercury


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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