Acalypha virginica

Virginia Copperleaf, Virginia three-seeded mercury, wax balls, copper-leaf, mercury-weed

Description: summer annual

Place of origin: eastern North America

Urban habitat: found along edges of sidewalks, roads, railroad tracks, riverbanks, at edges of buildings, in waste areas, vacant lots, and cultivated landscapes; thrives in full sun or partial shade.

Ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground; food for wildlife.

History: Although native to North America, Acalypha virginica is typically considered weedy. The plant was used medicinally by the Cherokee for treatment of kidney and urinary tract ailments.