Acalypha virginica (Virginia three-seeded mercury, wax balls, copper-leaf, mercury-weed)

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.