Coralbush, Coral Plant, Physic Nut, Guatemala Rhubarb
Jatropha multifida

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Jatropha (JAT-roh-fuh) (Info)
Species: multifida (mul-TIF-id-uh) (Info)

Category:

Trees

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Red

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Evergreen

Smooth-Textured

Leathery-Textured

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Fallbrook, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Bartow, Florida

Beverly Hills, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)

Clermont, Florida

Cocoa, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)

Fort Pierce, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Largo, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Richey, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida (2 reports)

Sebastian, Florida

Stuart, Florida (2 reports)

Summerland Key, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)

Waycross, Georgia

Galliano, Louisiana

Kenner, Louisiana

Vieques, Puerto Rico

Austin, Texas

Brownsville, Texas (2 reports)

Freeport, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Pearland, Texas

Penitas, Texas

Portland, Texas

Rio Hondo, Texas

Frederiksted, Virgin Islands

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

6
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Jan 23, 2015, Robmax from Nairobi
Kenya wrote:

I grow Jatropa Multifida on the Kenya Coast.
Besides its beauty it is a wonderful medicinal plant.
It healed coral wounds I had which were non responsive to antibiotic powders,it stopped the oozing of lymph and rapidly formed a black crust
just the sap applied from one leaf base did this.
The local people use it effectively in similar ways, amazing plant!

Neutral

On Nov 11, 2010, noworrez from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:

The old man who I got my original seeds from called it a "Hawaiian Hill Climber". I had a 4' planted in the ground freeze to death while a 3' in a 3gal pot survived the freeze(got to 28 here in St Pete of 2 freeze nights in a row). 2-3 seeds per fruit.

Positive

On Aug 10, 2010, yakmon from Portland, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

As mentioned by others, this plant doesn't like cold weather, but mine was hardy down to 25 degrees this winter. I live near Corpus Christi TX, and thought I had lost one of my favorites after our hardest freeze since 87-88. It came back with a vengeance and is now producing seeds everywhere. I planted a couple of seeds on 7/31/10 and they sprouted today 8/10/10. I had them in a home-made greenhouse and they sprouted pretty rapidly. I kept them moist and watched patiently until they sprouted. Hummers like these plants, as do visitors to my house. Very interesting leaves and flowers.

Positive

On Jun 20, 2005, rplingaltx from Galveston, TX wrote:

I have had luck with this plant here in Galveston, Texas. Though it does lose it's leaves in our winters, it faithfully sprouts back from the barren stems in the spring. Blooms all summer and is basically care free. Very nice plant!

Positive

On Feb 28, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I garden for enjoyment and butterflies. This plant is just great, yeah there are problems with the seeds (about an inch in diameter), and the constant new shoots that pop up everywhere within the range of the outer branches, but it's strange, seemingly without direction, branch growth is one of the features that make having this plant worthwhile. While having good growth, it still lets enough light through for most ground cover plants and small bushes to grow underneath. The leaves drop off as branches grow so the leaf growth is a clump of leaves at the end of the branch only. It's well tended to by Zebra Longwings, Monarch's and the Gulf Fritillary (and too many smaller butterfiles to identify.) From experience take this warning. When trimming the branches be carefull not to let ... read more

Positive

On Jun 10, 2004, captphill from Stuart, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

They are self seeding also.

Neutral

On Jun 7, 2004, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I haven't had this plant very long, but I have had it long enough to know that it will not take freezing temps, despite it showing that it will take to 25 degrees F in the profile. My neighbor and I both had some of these and hers died last winter from the cold - I had mine in the green house where it did wonderfully. . . . so, beware of the cold with this plant.

Positive

On Oct 31, 2003, kyecal from Beverly Hills, FL wrote:

Easily grown on my property in Miami, Florida, this plant grew to well over 12' tall, dropped bright yellow/orange seeds and new shoots sprang from those seeds. If left alone (not ripped up or mowed over) the new shoots grow very, very rapidly and can be uprooted by just pulling them from the ground and repotted.

Several small plants died in this new area (Citrus County) due to the extreme cold winter last year (close to freezing temperatures.) I returned to Miami, found more seeds, replanted them, and now have two lovely plants growing. One is approximately 2' tall and the other is over 3-1/2" tall. I will keep them inside during the colder months. When a branch is cut, trimmed, etc., the juice from this plant will exude a reddish color sap. They seem to not need any ... read more

Neutral

On Oct 17, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This Jatropha is a bit marginal for my USDA Zone 9b that I've been trying to grow it in. It is deciduous for sure and the leaves tend to droop most of the summer, but it does flower and leaf out every spring/summer.

I saw this plant in a Hawaii where it grows quite large; in fact, I think they consider it a true weed there. The leaves don't droop there and it looks much happier. Nice, finely divided maple-like leave with interesting orange-red pincushion-like flowers on the very top of the plant.