Acalypha hispida, the chenille plant, is a flowering shrub which belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae, the subfamily Acalyphinae, and the genus Acalypha. Acalypha is the fourth largest genus of the family Euphorbiaceae.
This member of the spurge family is named for the French word for caterpillar, chenille, and will provide textural interest and crimson accents in your sunny flower garden and bouquets. The genus acalypha is one of the members of the Euphorbiaceae family, which is a treasure trove of ornamental plants for the flower gardener: think poinsettia, croton, and castor bean, among others. The foliage of the chenille plant is unremarkable, but whoa, those fuzzy red flowers! The anatomy of the flower itself is just a row of pistils, but the fuzzy catkins provide tactile enjoyment for all ages. Flowers can look like plump fuzz balls, eventually turning downright pendulous, with lengths of 18 inches not unheard of.