SOLVED: 3 and 4 lobed leaves Identification

Palm Bay, FL

I got a plant from freecycle and was told it's a coffee plant but it doesn't look like any coffee plant pictures I've seen. Thick woody trunk, 3 or 4 lobed shiny deep green leaves, leaves are a dark purple green when young. I don't know many plant terms but there are... hairs along the trunk and leaf stems. I Googled my brains out and the closest I could find were the 3 lobed leaves of a sassafras but my plant leaves only have 3 and 4 lobes, none are single or double. help?

Thumbnail by DarkMorning
(Zone 1)

It looks so familiar and I know I've seen it before but am drawing a blank. It kind of reminds me of an immature Fatsia: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1714/

More images: http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=images+of+Fatsia+japonica&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=ZX7bS-CJMIzy9AT9r-CeBw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQsAQwAA

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

Could it be a Jatropha?

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

I think nifty413 has the right genus.

(Zone 1)

Aha, that's it, that's the one I was trying to think of! Thanks nifty, you are good! Jatropha podrica. Let me go find it in Plant Files.

Here ya go: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2445/

Palm Bay, FL

I don't think that's it. The leaves look close but the trunk on mine is a consistent diameter all the way down. No Buddha belly or bottleneck. Here's a wider shot.

Thumbnail by DarkMorning
Palm Bay, FL

Ah but this species looks right!Jatropha gossypifolia http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/32205/

You were a great help!

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Hey DarkMorning! Your thread helped me figure out what this thing was. I bought a couple of these plants from a lady at a yard sale in Melbourne yesterday, and she told me how they were baby coffee trees and how to collect the seeds and everything! Thank goodness I found out what this little monster actually was before I replanted it.

Thanks!

Port Richey, FL(Zone 9a)

BLESS YOU ALL FOR THIS THREAD! I received this plant and had no idea what it was. I too was told it was a coffee plant, but knew that wasn't correct.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

I have two of these and never knew the name! Thanks!

Austin, TX

Since portions of jatropha are poisonous, it's actually dangerous to be marketing them as coffee.

Melbourne, FL

The plant in question is in fact a Jatropha Gossipifolia. Also known as a Bellyache Bush. All parts of this plant are toxic to people and animals, so please don't brew up a cup from this commonly called 'coffee' plant. Hope this helps.

San Francisco, CA

Quote from VICTORS1 :
The plant in question is in fact a Jatropha Gossipifolia. Also known as a Bellyache Bush. All parts of this plant are toxic to people and animals, so please don't brew up a cup from this commonly called 'coffee' plant. Hope this helps.


OMG, at this point, she could have been dead and in the ground for three years - please don't resurrect old threads without a good reason.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I think adding confirmation of species and important information is good enough reason. .
I am also amazed at how many extra IDs came about on this user's original question, tee hee.

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

Over four years since my initial post pondering about its identity, I'm personally grateful to have learned about this plant.

Palm Bay, FL(Zone 9b)

Me too, nifty413!

My three year old specimen is doing very well. Until this year, it didn't even produce many seeds, certainly not enough to bother an attempt to brew a toxic cuppa joe. :)

I've been keeping it in pots, and its sticky stemmed, burgundy & green, high-gloss leaves look great planted with red gladiolas and pink blush aloes. Very happy with it, the other members of the jatropha family, and the butterflies that they attract. Looks very zen when it loses it's leaves for the winter.

For decoration only! Beautiful, tropical, and drought-tolerant. Perfect for xeriscaping in the tropics. Questionable choice for a yard with pets that may chew.

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