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Physic Nut, Barbados Nut, Purging Nut, Jatropha

Jatropha curcas

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Jatropha (JAT-roh-fuh) (Info)
Species: curcas (KUR-kas) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds


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

Casa Grande, Arizona

Okeechobee, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Venice, Florida

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 11, 2011, dushyantdhari from Jammu,
India wrote:

bio diesel plant. A plant of future.


On Dec 4, 2006, BigOHort from Okeechobee, FL wrote:

Be very cautious about human (or animal) consumption as it is very poisionous. If it becomes popular as a source for bio-diesel production, the market may expand for this seed, but the downside may be more accidental poisionings.


On Aug 17, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Interesting plant. I like it, but I like all of the other jatrophas, too. This one grows easily from seed and sets seed every time it blooms [the butterflies love it and probably pollinate it].


On Jul 30, 2003, imnotu99 wrote:

I have mixed emotions about this plant. There are two main types. One is poisonous, while the other is edible. Both look alike and I believe they share the same botanical name. The leaves are the same shape as a Japanese Maple, but much larger. The similarity of the two toxic/nontoxic plants is dangerous in that one might have a non poisonous type and have enjoyed the "Florida Pistachio" nuts for years. When that person encounters the poisonous type, thinking "it's just like mine", if eaten, is deadly. One chemical agent of the plant is called Jatrophine, which shows some anti-cancerous properties. The other, toxalbumin curcin, is the main toxic substance in this plant which can kill you. This plant is used for the manufacture of organic diesel fuel, insecticides, anti fungal agents and so... read more