Acalypha caturus Blume, Bijdr. 629 (1826)

Name meaning 'cat tail', referring to the inflorescences.

Acalypha cardiophylla Merr.
Acalypha cardiophylla var. ponapensis (Kaneh. & Hatus.) Fosberg
Acalypha caturus forma angustifolia J.J.Sm.
Acalypha cinnamomifolia Pax & K.Hoffm.
Acalypha cinnamomifolia var. induta Airy Shaw
Acalypha grandis Bentham var. kotoensis (Hayata) Hurusawa
Acalypha grandis var. longiacuminata (Hayata) Hurusawa
Acalypha kotoensis Hayata
Acalypha longiacuminata Hayata
Acalypha minahassae Koord.
Acalypha ponapensis Kaneh. & Hatus.
Acalypha similis Koord.
Acalypha subcinerea Elmer
Caturus spiciflorus L.
Ricinocarpus caturus (Blume) Kuntze [Illegitimate]
Ricinocarpus spiciflorus (L.) Kuntze

Small trees, ca. 4 m tall. Young branchlets grayish tomentulose. Stipules narrowly lanceolate, 4-12 mm, pilose; petiole 5-10 cm, pilose; leaf blade broadly ovate or ovate, 8-20 5.5-12 cm, papyraceous, abaxially tomentulose along veins, and vein axils bearded, base obtuse or subtruncate, sometimes slightly cordate, margin crenate, apex acuminate or long acuminate; basal veins 3-5. Plants dioecious, rarely monoecious. Inflorescences axillary. Male flowers glomerate; spikes 10-20 cm, pilosulose; bracts lax, ovate, ca. 0.5 mm; pedicel ca. 1 mm; sepals 4, ca. 0.3 mm; stamens 8. Female flowers 1 in each bract; spikes 10-30 cm, slender; bracts lax, ovate, ca. 1 mm, acute, pilose; sepals 3, ovate, ca. 1 mm, pilose; ovary pubescent, often bilocular; styles 2(or 3), 2-3 mm, 15-20-laciniate. Capsule 2(or 3)-locular, 3-4 mm in diam. Seeds ovoid, ca. 2 mm. [from Flora of China]

Usually in open places in forests or in secondary forest or open land, usually in drier or seasonal climates; below 100-200 m. Often found along rivers or on dry riverbeds or along roads. Also on limestone.

From Taiwan to Indochina, the Philippines, Indonesia to New Guinea and west Pacific.

Used in native fencing. Leaves are rubbed on wounds; this is fairly common practice among South Sea natives. Fruits, leaves and young shoots eaten as vegetable after cooking and stupefying.

Local names
China: Jian wei tie xian cai. Indonesia: Bunga halaman, Hanjawan (West Java), Goprak (Java), Kalangkongan (Madura), Kayu in cios (Sulawesi). Philippines: Malasapsap (Tagalog), Ambugtunong (Bisaya), Migtanong (Bicol). Unknown origin: Pau de jacu.