Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida)


The Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida L. 1753), also called Coralbush, Guatemala Rhubarb or Physic Nut is a small tropical tree or shrub belonging to the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).

Coral plants are native to Central- and South America, from Mexico to Brazil, but are found nowadays in many tropical countries around the world. As other members of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) the coral plant contains a poisonous sap, which is used in nature medicine for bacterial or fungal infections of the skin, as it has a strong antibiotic effect. All parts of the coral plant (Jatropha multifida) are highly toxic if ingested and the watery, cloudy sap can irritate sensitive skin. The small, fast-growing tropical plant, which flowers all year round, reach a height of up to about 6 meters. Once the plant is established it`s relatively drought-tolerant, but requires a warm to hot climate and a full sunny or intermittent shady location. The coral plant may drop its leaves during winter or with temperatures below about 5°C. The tropical plant isn`t hardy and will not survive at freezing temperature.

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Image: Coral Plant (Jatropha multifida)

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