Gardening with Georgia

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Seeing Anew

Mon, Oct 05, 2009 at 09:48:29 AM

This unknown species of Acalypha
is transformed by mid-morning sun.


Sometimes it takes just the right bit of light to draw your eye to a plant you’ve walked by a hundred times without paying it much attention. That happened the other day when I was outside the Corbin Building.  Sun shone on an Acalypha with crested leaves, and in that certain slant of light, they were as lovely as stained glass.  Acalypha, which is in the Euphorbiaceae or spurge family, displays a remarkable variety of leaf shapes and colors, although the shrubs usually don’t have the appeal of flowering shrubs since their flowers are in small spikes (with the exception of chenille plant).  I have two narrow-leaf cultivars in my garden that are sturdy and reliable. I grew them from cuttings given me by friends. One has deeply fringed leaves that are suffused with red and have pink edges; the other has equally narrow leaves that are green edged in cream.  In summer’s high light, the pinky one becomes darker. They require little more than an occasional pruning. Look closely at this plant the next time you are in the patio of area of the Corbin and perhaps you, too, may see it in a different light.


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