Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name:

Genus: Acalypha

Specie: A. hispida


English Name:

Philippines Medusa, red hot cat's tail and fox tail

Common Name:

Chenille plant

Botanical Family:

Name in Latin: Euphorbiaceae

Name in English: Spurge family

The Plant

Origin: Hawaii and Oceania

Growth Habit: dioecious, and therefore there are distinct male and female members of the species. Erect, sparsely branched shrub

Flower: pistillate flowers which range in color from purple to bright red, and grow in clusters along catkins.

Blooming Period: pistillates will grow all year long as long as the temperatures are favorable

Leaf: heavily foliated with 6- to 8-inch-long, ovate, medium-green leaves.


cultivated as a house plant because of its attractiveness and brilliantly colored, furry flowers. The brightly colored pendulous tassels of chenille plant are extremely showy, and a specimen in full bloom is a spectacular sight.

Care and Handling

Soil: grows in soils ranging from a pH of 5.6 (acidic ranges from 5.6 to 6) to 7.5 (neutral ranges from 6.6 to 7.5). It is adapted to clay loam, loam, sandy clay loam, sandy loam, silt loam and silty clay loam soils.

Amount of water: humid environment and frequent watering during the summer growing season. Make sure the soil stays evenly moist but drains well

Nutrition: every two weeks add a complete balanced liquid fertilizer.

Special handling: Full sun to partial shade. Best flowering is on plants in full sun. All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested by animals.

Special feature/remarks:

A common practice is to take cuttings every year and have new young and vigorous plants constantly coming on.