Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Threeseed Mercury - Acalypha rhomboidea   Rafinesque
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Section 6 » Order Euphorbiales » Family Euphorbiaceae
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AuthorRafinesque
DistributionThroughout the state, but absent from the Outer Banks and other barrier islands.

N.S. to ND, south to northern FL and TX.
AbundanceGenerally common throughout the state, except rare to absent near and along the coast. Frequently encountered, but populations are usually small.
HabitatUsually in moist woodland and forest openings and edges; less so at glades, fields, cropfields, clearcuts, roadsides, powerlines, waste lots. FNA also says swampy places and riverbanks, but NC specimens do not indicate so. Nonetheless, it occurs in wetland habitats much more so than do the others in the genus.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-October.
IdentificationCommon Threeseed Mercury grows 2-3.5 feet tall, with long leafstalks and rather rhombic leaf blades. Aside from the more angular and wider leaves, it differs from Slender Threeseed Mercury (A. gracilens) by its longer leafstalks and longer teeth on the inflorescence involucres (leafy bracts that envelop the flowers). This is the familiar wide-leaved Acalypha of various habitats, looking a bit like a nettle species such as a member of Pilea, Boehmeria, Laportea, or Urtica in leaf shape and general appearance.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Rhombic Copperleaf, Rhomboid Threeseed Mercury
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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