shrub or small succulent tree originating in Central America, the stem often develops in a wide caudex; the specimens grown in the ground can reach 2-3 metres high, while those grown in a container should be kept below 100-150 cm. It has a single, erect, semi-woody stem, with thin, slightly rough, light brown bark; in the upper part it develops a good number of ramifications which widen in a wide crown.
The leaves develop at the apex of long flexible and slightly curved petioles, are big, palmate, finely divided, of dark green colour; if the climatic conditions are favourable, the jatropha blooms all the year round, producing long petioles carrying umbrella-like inflorescences, formed by small bright orange flowers with slightly fleshy petals; the flowers are followed by big coriaceous fruits, which contain some dark seeds.
Usually it is an evergreen plant, but in case of cold climate or poor sunshine it loses its foliage until the climatic conditions improve. The genus jatropha counts several species, all of them poisonous; some species, such as the J. Curcas, are cultivated for producing biodiesel from the oil extracted from the seeds.
The Jatropha multifida love the sun, and need at least a few hours of sunshine a day to produce flowers; they can survive even in semi-shaded places. They fear the cold, and prefer minimum temperatures above 10-15°C. In the southern regions, they can also be cultivated outdoors, sheltering them under a portico during the coldest seasons. Water regularly from March to September, always waiting for the soil to be dry between one watering and another.
Avoid excessive watering; these plants can easily withstand drought. During the vegetative period, provide some fertilizer for flowering plants, every 10-12 days, dissolved in the water of the watering. They develop without any problems in any soil, preferring soft, deep and very well drained soils, rich in sand and stones. Every 2-3 years, repot the plant.
- The Jatrophe are medium or small sized shrubs, originating in South America, now widespread in Asia and Africa. The species are about ten, all very similar: the foliage is very similar to the…
- succulent semi-evergreen caudiciform plant native to Central America, grown in Africa and Asia as a medicinal plant; in places where it is widespread as an outdoor plant the specimens are grown in the…
The reproduction of the jatrophea multifida takes place by seed, in spring, or by cutting. If we decide to multiply the plant by cutting, we will have to use a fragment of the branch of the plant, well cut and clean, with one or more leaves attached and then place it in a special soil, ideal for our doritis. In this way, it will be possible to reproduce the missing parts and regenerate a new plant.
Thanks to the cutting, it is possible to obtain a new species at practically no cost, starting from a cultivation which we already have.
Jatropha multifida: Pests and diseases
Usually, the Jatropha multifida is not attacked by parasites or diseases. It is necessary, however, to pay attention to the humidity that could cause the formation of radical rottenness and the development of fungal diseases. To avoid the problem, it will be sufficient to place the plant in a drier place and less subject to humidity so as to allow the plant to grow in the best environmental conditions.