Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Virginia Copperleaf: Acalypha virginica

Weed Description:  Summer annual to 3 ft tall with leaves that often develop a copper coloration.  Found from Maine south to Florida, west to South Dakota and Texas.

Seedling:  Cotyledons round, slightly notched at the apex, without hairs.  First true leaves opposite, subsequent leaves alternate.

Leaves:  Lanceolate, 3/4-3 inches long, petiolated, upper leaves alternate, lower leaves opposite.  Youngest leaves develop a distinct copper coloration.

Stems:  Branching, hairy, 1 to 3 ft tall.

Roots:  Taproot with a secondary fibrous root system.

vcopper6-28.jpg (159321 bytes) Flowers:  Green in color, produced in clusters in the areas between the stem and leaf petioles (axillary flower clusters).  Certain flowers surrounded by deeply divided bracts.

Fruit:  A 3-lobed seed pod.

Identifying Characteristics:  Distinct copper-colored young leaves, axillary flower clusters.