Jatropha podagrica Hook.
  • Bot. Mag. 74: t. 4376 (1848) 

Notes: Distribution: S. Mexico to Nicaragua

General Description

A completely glabrous shrub up to 2 m., stem swollen at base. Leaves long-petiolate; leaf-blade peltate, (3–)5-lobate, the lobes broadly ovate to obovate, the median lobe up to 20 cm. long and 11 cm. wide, the laterals the same or slightly smaller, subacute, entire, pale beneath; petiole 10–20 cm. long. Stipules branched, up to 5 mm. long, glandular, becoming indurated. Inflorescences tightly corymbiform, up to 26 cm. long, with a clear scape up to 20 cm. long; bracts triangular, 2 mm. long, subacute, subentire. Male flowers: calyx-lobes broadly ovate, 0.6 mm. long, erose or emarginate at the apex, otherwise entire; petals obovate-oblong, 5–6 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, obtuse, scarlet; disc urceolate; stamens 6–8, 5 mm. long, connate at the base; anthers 2 mm. long, orange. Female flowers: calyx-lobes ovate-lanceolate, 2 mm. long, obtuse, entire; petals 6–7 mm. long; disc-glands free, flattened, ± truncate; ovary ellipsoid, 3–4 mm. long, 2.5 mm. diameter, styles united at the base, 1.5 mm. long, stigmas capitate, bilobed. Fruit ellipsoid-ovoid, trilobate, 1.5 cm. long, 1.3 cm. diameter, ± truncate at the apex, dehiscing both septicidally and loculicidally. Seeds ellipsoid, convex-triangular in section, 1.2 cm. long, 6 mm. wide, brown, with a small fluted caruncle.

Stem up to 2 ft. high, much swollen at the base; flowers red; cultivated in our area.

A completely glabrous shrub up to 2 m tall; stem swollen at the base.Latex watery.Stipules up to 5 mm long, branched, glandular, becoming indurated.Petioles 10–20 cm long.Leaf blades 10–20 × 10–20 cm, peltate, 3–5-lobed, bright green above, paler beneath; the lobes broadly ovate to obovate, subacute, entire; the median lobe 8–12 × 6–11 cm, the laterals the same or slightly smaller.Inflorescences 20–25 cm long, with a peduncle 17–22 cm long, densely corymbiform to subcapitate; bracts up to 2 mm long, triangular, subacute, subentire.Male flowers: pedicels 1–2 mm long; calyx 1.5 mm long; calyx lobes 0.5 × 1 mm, transversely ovate, emarginate, entire; petals 5–6 × 2 mm, obovate-oblong, obtuse, scarlet; disk urceolate; stamens 6–8, 5 mm long, filaments connate at the base, anthers 2 mm long, orange.Female flowers: pedicels 1–2 mm long, stout; calyx lobes 1.5–2 × 1–1.5 mm, ovate to triangular-ovate, obtuse, entire; petals 6–7 mm long; disk glands free, flattened, ± truncate; ovary 2–3 × 2 mm, ellipsoid; styles 1.5 mm long, united at the base, stigmas capitate, 2-lobed.Fruit 1.4 × 1.3 cm when dried, ellipsoid-ovoid, 3-lobed, apically and basally truncate, septicidally and loculicidally dehiscent.Seeds 1.2 × 0.6 × 0.4 cm, ellipsoid, triangular-convex in section, brown, with a small fluted caruncle.


habit: shrub


; cultivated in our area.

Garden escape naturalized in Brachystegia woodland.


Kenya Nairobi City Park, acc. 1 Apr. 1977, Kahurananga & Kiilu 2891!

Malawi Cape Maclear, fl. & y. fr. 24.ix.1966, Binns 373 (MAL).

G. C.: fide Deighton.

S. L.: Njala (May) Deighton 1986!

S. Nig.: Ibadan fide Keay.

Tanzania Dar es Salaam, University College, 10 Aug. 1973, Wingfield 2299!


in Bot. Mag. 74, t. 4376 (1848). —Müller Argoviensis in De Candolle, Prodr. 15, 2: 1093 (1866). —Pax in Engler, Pflanzenr. [IV, fam. 147, i] 42: 44 (1910). —Keay in F.W.T.A., ed. 2, 1, 2: 397 (1958). —Radcliffe-Smith in F.T.E.A., Euphorb. 1: 354 (1987). Type from Panama.

in Bot. Mag. 74, t. 4376 (1848); Muell. Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15(2): 1093 (1866); Pax in E.P. IV. 147(1): 44 (1910); F.W.T.A., ed. 2, 1: 397 (1958).

in Bot. Mag. t. 4376 (1848); Pax l.c. 1: 44.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
  • Introduced distribution
Found in
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Gulf
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Central America El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
Introduced into
  • Asia-Tropical Indian Subcontinent India
  • Pacific North-Central Pacific Hawaii
  • Southern America Caribbean Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Leeward Is.
  • Puerto Rico
  • Venezuelan Antilles
  • Central America Costa Rica
  • Panamá
  • Western South America Colombia
  • Ecuador


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 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
WCS higher taxonomy
  • D All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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