Thursday, March 24, 2011
Jatropha multifida, Coral Plant
This Jatropha is found from Mexico to Brazil and is used as a street tree in Lagos, Nigeria. It is not quite warm enough to grow it well here and I tend to lose it during a cold wet winter. The bottom photo shows my plant growing in a tiny pot as it puts on a tremendous amount of growth during Summer and really does not need much soil nutrition or water to perform well. In shade, or when grown indoors the leaves become filigree like and darker green while they are more broad and pale in full sun. Under mature specimens it is easy to pick up seed or even young plants which are not difficult to propagate or grow on. The scarlet flower heads are profuse and the name coral plant suits it when these are in full flight. Like other members of the Euphorbia family, the stems exude a white milky sap when cut which can be caustic if it comes in contact with skin.
2017 update: I no longer have this plant.