What flower is that?

 Three-seeded Mercury plants  Three-seeded Mercury closeup
Three-seeded Mercury flower stalk

Photo credits: © Francis R. Underwood 2016

This month’s mystery plant is a herbaceous plant whose Flower Type is described in Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide as “Parts Indistinguishable”.

The plant grows from 6” to 24” high.  It has alternate, toothed leaves which are 2” to 4” long.  The separate male and female flowers are found in the leaf axils and are subtended by 5-9 lobed, leaf-like bracts .  The common name of this plant is a reference to the number of seeds produced by each flower.  This plant grows in fields, along roadsides and can also be found in moist areas.  I have seen it growing vigorously in stone walls.  It begins to bloom in June and sets fruit from July to September. 

It’s…

Botanical Name:
  Acalypha rhomboidea
Common Name:
  Three-seeded Mercury
Family:
  Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family)
Habitat:
  Fields, roadsides, disturbed areas

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