Acalypha australis is an annual herb, to 60 cm, from a taproot, stems erect, simple or branched, smooth or finely hairy; bright green to reddish, often appearing translucent or succulent, sap watery.
Leaves alternate, stalks 1-8 cm long, blades 3-9 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, only slightly longer than stalks, narrowly egg-shaped to rhombic, tip blunt, base tapered to rounded, surface finely hairy, major veins 3, palmate at base, margin bluntly toothed (crenate)
Flowers green, monoecious, inflorescence bracts heart-shaped, margins blunt-toothed, not lobed, male spikes are elongate, conspicuous.
Wetland status: NL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Origin: East Asia.
Notes: Gleason and Cronquist (1991) report this only from NYC.