Dorstenia Species, Contrayerva Root, Mapipire Root, Tusilla, Wart Flower

Dorstenia contrajerva

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dorstenia (dor-STEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: contrajerva
Synonym:Dorstenia alexiteria
Synonym:Dorstenia contrajerva var. houstonii
Synonym:Dorstenia houstonii


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage



Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (yellow-green)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida

Bushnell, Florida

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 12, 2013, CostaRica from Guayabo de Bagaces, Guanacaste,
Costa Rica (Zone 10b) wrote:

Found these plants growing wild here in Guanacaste, last year and at first thought the were watermelons.
Of course, they aren't but they are very attractive and quite an addition to one's plant collection


On Jun 12, 2010, Philonius from Bushnell, FL wrote:

This dorstenia is easy to grow in our zone (9) and the unusual green grainy flowers make it an interesting pot plant. It will self-sow quite readily and is easy to find because of its distinctive deeply cleft leaves. My cultivar stays pretty small--maybe 8" at the most and a foot across. It will grow in shade with just a little filtered sun and is not fussy about soil or water. There are lots of species of Dorstenia and many of them are succulents, although this species is not. I don't know if it is poisonous, but I have handled it with no problems.


On May 8, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

A common name for this plant is "Rock Begonia." It isn't related to begonias, of course, but the inflorescence does look rock-like. The seeds form right in the flower. It is most unusual. As the seeds ripen, they pop out. If they happen to land in a suitable place, like under my cutting bed, they will sprout. It has been taking care of itself in my yard for many years.


On Apr 10, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

The roots of this species are said to be highly aromatic, and has the reputation of being medicinal.