Pilea microphylla (L.) Liebm.

Etymology Genus Capped; reference to plant unknown
Species Small leaf
Family Urticaceae
Synonyms Parietaria microphylla L., Urtica microphylla (L.) Sw.
Common Names Artillery Plant, Gunpowder Plant
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Tropical America


Piles microphylla is very commonly found protruding from concrete gaps along road kerbs or pathways, or other damp areas. It is a succulent herb with a series of larger and tiny leaves with is somewhat obovate in shape.

Interesting Facts:

The common names given to it came from the cloud of pollen discharged from the male flower when the plant is disturbed (Henderson, 1959).

Pilea microphylla, a very common herb jutting out of concrete gaps.

Varying leaf sizes of the Artillery Plant with the flower clusters.

Male and female flowers, and the fruit are about or less than 1 mm.


Henderson MR. (1959) Malayan Wild Flowers: Dicotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kulau Lumpar, Malaysia. 478 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-02-13 / Modified: 2017-12-25