Acalypha wilderi Merr.

Wilder’s Copperleaf (Acalypha wilderi)  

Wilder’s Copperleaf was restricted to Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, and was scientifically described in the year 1931.  

The species was a mostly unbranched, about 2 m tall shrub, with long-stemmed, about 30 x 20 cm large leaves. It was monoecious, with plants producing either only female or male flowers, which appeared at the tops of the branches, the female flowers in short upright inflorescences, the male flowers in long, drooping ones.  


The Night-blooming Cestrum (Cestrum nocturnum L.), a plant introduced to Rarotonga, is known for displacing other plant species by forming dense impenetrable thickets, and is thought to be one of the invasive species that are responsible for the extinction of Wilder’s Copperleaf.  


edited: 23.09.2017