Last week we asked you to identify this plant. Not a single one guessed correctly. The answer is Copperleaf.
Copperleaf, Acalypha wilkesiana
The multi-colored leaves of this tall accent plant are quite distinct and add a year-round splash of color to the landscape. Reaching 15 feet in height and 8 feet or more in width copperleaf generally requires occasional trimming to keep it in check. Copperleaf plants prefer moist soil but will tolerate short droughts once established. Native to Fiji and the Pacific Islands, it is rated for zones 10-11 but is sometimes grown in colder climates as an annual. Smaller plants can do well indoors, especially in bright light.
A cultivar of this plant, A. wilkesiana ‘Miltoniana’ was purchased for the Edison’s property in 1908 and was recorded as late as 1936, so the Edisons probably enjoyed this plant for many years at their winter home. Today, there are many cultivars of the plant and we sell a few cultivars in the Estates Garden Shoppe.