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Hardy Tapioca

Manihot grahamii

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Manihot (MAN-ee-hot) (Info)
Species: grahamii (GRAM-ee-eye) (Info)



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Huntsville, Alabama

Ohatchee, Alabama

Davis, California

Encinitas, California

Los Angeles, California

San Diego, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Jacksonville, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Horse Cave, Kentucky

Saint Francisville, Louisiana

Sulphur, Louisiana

Petal, Mississippi

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Portland, Oregon

Bluffton, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina

Loris, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Denton, Texas

Huntsville, Texas

Shepherd, Texas

Norfolk, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 27, 2017, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Here in Jalisco (Mexico), this is considered a weed. It self-sows aggressively and grows astonishingly quickly. I cut a 20' tree (trunk diameter 7") back to an 8' stump, went away for four months, and came back to find it as tall as it was before, with new branches up to 3" thick.

In addition, as palmbob has said, much of the new wood dies back in winter, calling for a lot of deadwooding in the spring. (Our coldest winter temperatures are in the upper 40's F, so this is not a hardiness issue.)


On Jul 12, 2016, annelibalak from Espoo,
Finland wrote:

Hi, i am very intrested to grow this plant, but i have not find it in sale. Maybe it is possible to buy the seeds somewhere. I would be very happy :-)

Best regards,


On Jul 29, 2011, QueenB from Shepherd, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I got mine about 10 years ago as a little cutting (or seedling, it's hard to tell as they can be propagated both ways) that basically looked like a thin switch. It languished in a pot for about two years, but once in the ground, it was a full-fledged tree in about 3 years. It now has a very thick trunk with several large roots surrounding it. It does freeze back any green or semi-green growth in the winter (8b), so pruning off the dead branches to keep the tree attractive is a must, and also makes a fuller tree in the spring. This is the first year that I have had any seedlings sprout, surprisingly, since it has made copious amounts of seed. I think it must have to do with it being drier and hotter than normal here, due to the drought, because I've never had any before. Now I have se... read more


On Dec 8, 2009, silkroad from Lady's Island, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

I moved this plant three times (and may move it again later this winter), as it was not getting enough sunlight to thrive. Even so, the delicate foliage is a great foil for other, coarser plants. I picked several seeds and left them for a few days in a saucer in my kitchen. Coming back from shopping yesterday, the seeds were gone!! I discovered several orange segment shaped outer hulls on the counter. I looked for similar shaped seeds. None. I finally discovered tiny tiny black seeds in the dark grout between the tiles on my counter. Mystery solved!! I am using the "paper towel" method to germinate them. We'll see......Update......tiny seeds I found had dropped from a vase full of basil which had flowered!!! Never found the big seeds.


On Aug 23, 2009, hoitider from Emerald Isle, NC wrote:

recived this plant from a raleigh n c plant swat about six inches tall it is now about ten ft tall and loks outstanding here in zone 8 it does not produce many seedlings wish it did, but has a thousand seed balls ready to pop,very tropical looking the main stem is about 4 inches in diameter,and it dis back in winter but recovers in spring


On Nov 18, 2007, sandiegojames from San Diego, CA wrote:

An attractive, delicate-foliaged large shrub to small tree (10-12 feet). Over several years it can form a fairly thick trunk. I finally had to take my plant out, but not until its trunk had reached ca. 8 inches across after ca. 10 years in the ground.

Bees love the fairly insignificant greenish flowers, and the plant develops hard, explosive seed pods that make spending time around the tree in early autumn...um, interesting. The seeds germinate readily, and can give you a yard full of these if you let them go; however the seedlings pull up easily, roots and all. Cutting the plant back as it goes to seed will avoid the exploding seedpod issue, but it leaves you a stump for half the year. Come spring, the plant comes back to life.

My favorite characteristic of t... read more


On Feb 28, 2006, Gustichock from Tandil,
Argentina (Zone 10b) wrote:

Mmmmm... what can I say about this small tree? It grows everywhere here in Buenos Aires and it is actually considered a weed!
It's not very used as an ornamental plant. Here it's not considered atractive but, there are other parts of Argentina where people cultivate it in they gardens and find it very rare and unusual! So I guess I'm satying "neutral" on it!
We know it as "falso cafeto" here in Buenos Aires. I have no clue about why they call it like this. I've never seen a "real cafeto plant" and don't even know if it even exists! =S
I guess it is because the way their seeds look like! I'm going to upload a picture of them.
Anyway! It also has another common name: Mandioca brava and I guess that's very similar to its common name in English. Mandioca is a plant ... read more


On Jul 25, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

When I first saw this 'tree' growing in a plant nut's garden, I had to have one. This guy had them all over his back yard- these tall (up to 12') spindly (1" diameter at the most) trees topped with these really ornate, deeply cut, circular leaves- they looked sort of tropical, yet were growing in an extreme xeriscape environment- a sandy-clay back yard that had literally not been watered in years- only the brief winter rains to survive on. And yet the plants looked great. Each little tree had a sparse crown of these spoke-wheel leaves. So I dug up a seedling and wa-la, had myself a thriving Manihot. And it grew very fast!

The following spring it produced a load of insignificant flowers that dangle from the tops of the trees and literally swarmed with bees. We had a lo... read more