Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

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:

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

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There are a total of 37 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Robmax 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 noworrez 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 yakmon 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 rplingaltx 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 artcons 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 the sap get on your clothing as it will stain like blood. Five or six washings will eventually get out the stain.
My largest bush is about 15 feet tall. It blooms all year round here in S. Florida. It does drop leaves, more often in the winter months than the summer. But the flowers are always there year round for the butterflies.

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

They are self seeding also.

Neutral onalee 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 kyecal 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 special care and grow easily and very tall.

Neutral palmbob 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.


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

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