ISI 2002-27. Jatropha cf. curcas L

This appears to be a slow-growing ally of the more commonly cultivated J. curcas. The parent of our seedlings was originally collected in the early ’70s (1970-72) by the late bromeliad collector Bill Seaborn, in the Tehuacán Valley of Puebla, Mexico. It has slowly grown to maturity in a private collection in Vista, CA. It is now a branched shrub of 6'6"; with a 4-5"-diameter trunk, 1-1.5"-thick terminal stems and large, pubescent, grape-like leaves to 1' across! It took nearly 20 years in cultivation before it set seed but now does so regularly. The small pink flowers are self-fertile and form half-inch-diameter capsules. It needs bright light, good drainage and a suitable resting period in winter to avoid becoming leggy. HBG 77317. $8.50.

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Photo © 2002 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 74 (2), March - April, 2002