Plant A Day – Common Threeseed Mercury

Common Threeseed Mercury Acalypha rhomboidea

Common Threeseed Mercury
Acalypha rhomboidea

The Mercury plants (Acalypha’s) are native plants that look weedy as a whole, but looking closeup reveals intricate details that are quite pleasing to the eye.

I have not been able to find out how they got the name of Mercury, but the Threeseed part of the name is obvious.  The ovary is three-parted with one seed in each part.  Wow … genius!

The bracts of the flowers, those leafy green things at the base of the flower stem, are deeply indented in this species.  the flowers themselves are quite tiny.

The bracts of the flowers, those leafy green things at the base of the flower stem, are deeply indented in this species. the flowers themselves are quite tiny.

The species name; rhomboidea, supposedly refers to the shape of the leaf, which would be diamond shaped.  However, I've noticed that they have a variety of shapes.

The species name; rhomboidea, supposedly refers to the shape of the leaf, which would be diamond shaped. However, I’ve noticed that they have a variety of shapes.

acrh_leaf_002

Top down view

Top down view

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