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Useful Tropical Plants

Jatropha multifida

L.

Euphorbiaceae

+ Synonyms

Adenoropium multifidum (L.) Pohl

Jatropha janipha Blanco

Manihot multifida (L.) Crantz

Common Name: Physic Nut

Jatropha multifida
Flowers and a developing fruit
Photograph by: Donald Macauley
Creative Commons License
Jatropha multifida Jatropha multifida Jatropha multifida Jatropha multifida Jatropha multifida Jatropha multifida

General Information

Physic nut is an evergreen or semi-deciduous, slightly succulent shrub or a tree with a loose, spreading crown; it can grow up to 6 metres tall, though is more likely to be 2 - 3 metres tall in cultivation[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Good quality photos and terse details on almost 2,000 species and cultivars.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of oil. It was introduced as an ornamental into the Old World tropics long ago and is often grown as a hedge[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The red inflorescence is in great demand by florists as it makes beautiful red corsages[
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
].

Known Hazards

All parts of the plant are poisonous[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
].
The ripe, dry seeds contain a dangerous, bitter, purgative oil which is sometimes used medicinally. Overdoses, it is reported, can be counteracted by drinking a glass of white wine[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. Limejuice and stimulants are the best antidotes in cases of poisoning by the seeds[
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
].
The plant may be used as a fish poison[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Botanical References


Range

Caribbean - Trinidad to Cuba; Southern N. America - Mexico.

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height2.50 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Physic nut is a plant of semi-arid regions in the tropical lowlands, though it can be grown in moist regions so long as there is excellent drainage[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
].
Prefers a position in full sun, but also succeeds in partial shade[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
,
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
]. Succeeds in most well-drained soils[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
]. Established plants are somewhat tolerant of drought[
423
Title
Desert Tropicals
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The main focus of the site is succulent plants, but it also contains information on a wide range of other species. Usually at least one good photograph, plus basic information about the plant and its cultivation.
]. Tolerant of maritime exposure[
710
Title
Tropical Flowering Plants. A Guide to Identification and Cultivation.
Publication
 
Author
Llamas K.A.
Publisher
Timber Press; Oregon.
Year
2003
ISBN
0-88192-585-3
Description
A terse guide for the gardener to almost 1,500 species of ornamental tropical plants with brief details on their cultivation and, usually, a small photograph of good quality.
].
The plant was introduced as an ornamental into the Old World tropics long ago and occasionally escapes from cultivation into grassland and thickets, generally at low elevations[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant produces flowers on and off all year long, and especially during hot weather[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Good quality photos and terse details on almost 2,000 species and cultivars.
].

Edible Uses

The tuberous roots can be eaten after roasting[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
701
Title
Asean Tropical Plant Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://211.114.21.20/tropicalplant/index.jsp
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details, with photos, of many of the plants growing in the tropical forests of southeast Asia. Gives some details of plant uses along with a description of the plant and its range.
].

Medicinal

The seed oil is sometimes used as a cathartic, although it may cause strong irritation and even poisoning. The oil is applied both internally and externally as an abortifacient[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Seeds are used fresh as a purgative and emetic[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. A very powerful purgative, their use has been almost abandoned in traditional medicine in Mexico, although they are officinal in the Mexican Pharmacopoeia[
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
].

The latex is used externally in the treatment of infected wounds, ulcers, skin infections and scabies. In Indonesia one of its local names is 'yodium' ('iodine'), which reflects the popular use as a wound-healing remedy[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

In Indo-China, dried roots are given as a decoction against indigestion and colic; they are also prescribed as a tonic to treat orchitis and oedemas[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
].

The leaves contain saponins[
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
]. They are used as a purgative, and in the treatment of dysentery and scabies[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Jatropha multifida is widely grown, often in hedges, for its ornamental foliage and flowers[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
].

Other Uses

The seeds contain around 30% of a non-edible oil that can be used for illumination[
582
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Philippines
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.bpi.da.gov.ph/Publications/mp/mplants.html
Publisher
Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippines.
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An Internet site from the Philippines Department of Agriculture, giving information in a readable way on the medicinal uses of many plants in their area.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings.

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