Acalypha hispida

Acalypha hispida, also called Chenille Plant or Red Hot Cat’s Tail, is a tropical shrub known for its unique and captivating red fuzzy inflorescences. These elongated flowers dangle from the stem tips, resembling caterpillars. Thriving in warm climates, it adds a touch of exotic beauty to gardens and landscapes. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and can be grown as a focal point or in containers.

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Acalypha hispida, commonly known as Chenille Plant or Red Hot Cat’s Tail, is a tropical shrub that belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. Native to New Guinea and Indonesia, this plant is highly prized for its unique and eye-catching inflorescence. It is a popular choice for gardens and landscapes in warm climates.


Acalypha hispida is a medium-sized shrub that can reach a height of 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters) and has a spreading growth habit. The leaves are ovate or lanceolate, dark green, and have a slightly toothed margin. While the foliage is attractive, it is the flowers that truly make this plant stand out.


The unique feature of Acalypha hispida is its elongated, fluffy, and vibrant red inflorescences that resemble fuzzy caterpillars or chenille strings. These inflorescences can grow up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and are covered in tiny, densely packed flowers. The inflorescences emerge from the stem tips and dangle downward, creating a captivating display. The flowers are predominantly red, but some cultivars may have pink or white varieties.


Acalypha hispida thrives in warm, tropical climates. It requires full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It is relatively tolerant of different soil types, but it does best in fertile and moist conditions. Regular watering is necessary to keep the plant hydrated. Acalypha hispida can be grown outdoors in gardens or containers, or as a striking specimen plant.


Acalypha hispida is primarily grown for its unique and showy inflorescences. It is often used as a focal point in gardens, as a container plant on patios or decks, or as a hanging basket specimen. The unusual flowers make it an interesting addition to floral arrangements and bouquets. Its visual appeal attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, making it a favorite among pollinators.


It is important to note that Acalypha hispida contains sap that may cause skin irritation in some individuals. Additionally, this plant is toxic if ingested by pets or humans, so it should be kept out of reach.


Acalypha hispida, also known as Chenille Plant or Red Hot Cat’s Tail, is a tropical shrub known for its striking red inflorescences resembling fuzzy caterpillars. Its unique flowers and attractive foliage make it a standout in gardens and landscapes. With proper care, this plant brings a touch of exotic beauty and captures attention wherever it is grown.


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