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Genus: Pilea

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Rosales > Family: Urticaceae

About 250 species, native to tropical and subtropical regions but not Australia and New Zealand. Four species are native to southern Africa, Pilea microphylla is naturalised, and a further three species are cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Pilea johnstonii

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Pilea rivularis


Pilea tetraphylla

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Pilea usambarensis

Recorded from Zimbabwe.


Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI).

Pilea microphylla (Artillery plant)

Native from Mexico to Brazil. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Pilea cardieri (Aluminium plant)

Native to Vietnam.


Pilea involucrata

Native to central America and South America.


Pilea repens (Blackleaf-panamigo)

Native to the West Indies.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.


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