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Pilea, genus of 600–715 species of herbaceous creeping plants in the nettle family (Urticaceae) but lacking the stinging hairs typical of that family. The plants are widespread in temperate and tropical regions worldwide. A few are useful as border-edging plants in warm areas, and many varieties are available as indoor pot plants and for hanging baskets. Especially popular are the artillery plant, or rockweed (Pilea microphylla), with fine fernlike foliage and anthers that forcefully expel their pollen when mature; aluminum plant, or watermelon pilea (P. cadierei), with silvery markings.
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