Flora of Thailand

Euphorbiaceae

 

51. Jatropha

 

J. Chantharaprasong & P.C. van Welzen

 

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Genus description

Identification key

Species descriptions

 

Jatropha

 

L., Sp. Pl.: 1006. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed 5: 437 (1754); Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1076. 1866; Pax & K.Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147(Heft 42): 77. 1910; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 323. 1926; Hutch., Fl. W. Trop. Afr. 1(2): 396. 1958; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 282. 1972; G.L.Webster, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 81: 103. 1994; Radcl.-Sm., Gen. Euphorbiacearum: 288. 2001; Chanthar. & Welzen in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 343. 2007; G.L.Webster in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 11: 166. 2014Curcas Adans., Fam. Pl. 2: 356. 1763.— Castigliona Ruiz & Pav., Fl. Peruv. Prodr.: 139. 1794.— Mozinna Ortega, Nov. Pl. Descr. Dec. 8: 104. 1798.— Loureira Cav., Icon. 5: 17. 1799.— Adenoropium Pohl, Pl. Bras. Icon. Descr. 1: 12. 1827.— Zimapania Engl. & Pax in Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3(5): 119. 1891.— Collenucia Chiov., Fl. Somala 1: 177. 1929.

 

Herbs, shrubs or trees, monoecious (rarely dioecious); exudate watery to white. Indumentum simple hairs and sometimes glandular hairs. Stipules subulate to multifid. Leaves alternate to in groups, simple, usually lobed to deeply palmatifid or pinnatifid, lobes sometimes also divided, segments often with sharp hairs or glands, petiolate or sessile, base peltate or not, margin entire. Inflorescences terminal or axillary near end of branches, corymbiform or cymose, usually with mixed flowers, a single pistillate flower at the end of the primary axis, all lateral flowers staminate; bracts usually entire, sometimes glandular-fimbriate. Flowers shortly pedicellate; sepals usually 5, (almost) free, imbricate; petals 5, mainly free. Staminate flowers: disc annular or 5 free glands; stamens 6-10, in 2 whorls, filaments partly fused into a column, anthers dorsifixed, 2-thecate; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers: petals sometimes foliaceous; disc usually annular, 5-lobed or sometimes 5 glands; staminodes sometimes present; ovary 2- or 3-locular (Thailand), with 1 ovule per locule; style present, stigmas apically entire or shortly bifid. Fruits capsular to tardily dehiscent and sub-drupaceous, completely septicidally or loculicidally dehiscent, leaving 3 2-valved cocci or 3 valves respectively. Seeds ovoid or oblong, shiny, with apically a 2-fid to multifid caruncle.

    Genus of c. 175 species in mainly Tropical America and Africa, a few in S.W. Asia. Five introduced and cultivated species are present in Thailand. Classification: Subfamily Acalyphoideae, tribe Jatropheae.

 

Key to the species

 

1a. 

Plants sticky with long glandular hairs, well visible with the naked eye

2.  J. gossypiifolia

1b. 

Plants not sticky, lacking glandular hairs.

2

2a

Stem basally swollen. Leaf blades peltate, attached in lower third to petiole

5.  J. podagrica

2b. 

Stem basally not swollen. Leaf blades basally attached to petiole

3

3a

Leaf blades obovate to sub-panduriform, not lobed (except sometimes basally a few teeth), basally 3-5-nerved

3.  J. integerrima

3b. 

Leaf blades ovate, shallowly to deeply lobed, basally 5-12-palmately nerved

4

4a

Leaf blades unlobed or shallowly lobed, lobes less than a third of blade deep, lobes entire. Stipules entire. Stem not succulent.

1.  J. curcas

4b. 

Leaf blades basally 9-12-nerved, deeply divided, lobes almost reaching center of blade, lobes entire to deeply divided. Stipules multifid. Stems somewhat succulent

4.  J. multifida

 

1.  Jatropha curcas  L., Sp. Pl.: 1006. 1753; Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1080. 1866; Hook.f., Fl. Br. Ind. 5: 383. 1887; Pax in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147 (Heft 42): 77. 1910; Merr., Enum. Philipp. Pl. 2: 449. 1923; Ridl., Fl. Mal. Pen. 3: 254. 1924; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 324, 1925; Merr., Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc. 24: 239. 1935; Backer & Bakh.f., Fl. Java 1: 494, 1963; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 283. 1972; Kew Bull. Add. Ser. 4: 137. 1975; Chanthar. & Welzen in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 344, Fig. 11A. 2007.

 

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Shrubs or small trees, up to 6 m tall. Stipules minute, early caducous. Leaves: petiole 5-20 cm long; blade broadly orbicular-ovate, 7-14 by 7-14 cm, length/width ratio c. 1, unlobed to usually shallowly 3–5-lobed, apex of the median lobe usually acutely acuminate, apex of the laterals acute, obtuse or rounded, baslly 5–9-nerved Inflorescences subcorymbiform, often paired, up to 10 cm long, sparingly pubescent or subglabrous; peduncle up to 7 cm long; bracts elliptic 4–8 mm long. Staminate flowers 6–8 mm in diameter; calyx-lobes ovate, apex obtuse, subglabrous; petals slightly fused at base, lobes oblong-obovate, apex obtuse, glabrous outside, pilose inside, greenish yellow; disc-glands 5, erect; stamens 10, the 5 outer filaments only basally united, the 5 inner completely united. Pistillate flowers: sepals and petals free or basally slightly united, elliptic, c. 6 by 2.5 mm, apex obtuse, glabrous inside, pilose in the middle, greenish yellow; disc glands free; ovary glabrous; stigmas elongate, erect, thickened, bifid. Fruits ellipsoid, hardly trilobed, 2–3.5 by 2–3 cm, dehiscing loculicidally. Seeds compressed ovoid-ellipsoid, c. 1.7 by 1 cm; caruncle minute.

    T h a i l a n d.— NORTHERN: Chiang Mai, Lampang, Mae Hong Son; NORTH-EASTERN: Khon Kaen, Loei, Udon Thani; EASTERN: Nakhon Ratchasima, Roi Et, Ubon Ratchathani; CENTRAL: Bangkok, Nonthaburi; SOUTH-EASTERN: Chanthaburi, Prachinburi; SOUTH-WESTERN: Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi; PENINSULAR: Chumphon.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n.— Native of Tropical America; now widely cultivated and naturalized in the tropics.

 

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    E c o l o g y.— Naturalized, growing nearby villages, in mixed deciduous forest, along road sides. Altitude: Sea-level up to 1300 m.

    V e r n a c u l a r.— Hong thek (โห่งเทก), ma hong (มะโห่ง), ma hong hua (มะโห่งฮั้ว), ma hua (มะฮั้ว), ma yao (มะเยา) (Northern); mak yao (หมักเยา) (North-eastern); sabu dam (สบู่ดำ), sabu khao (สบู่ขาว), salot dam (สลอดดำ), salot pa (สลอดป่า), salot yai (สลอดใหญ่) (Central); physic nut, purging nut, pulza, barbados nut.

    U s e s.— A hedge-plant. Seeds poisonous, containing purgative and emetic oils; the oil is abstracted from seeds for pomades.

 

2.  Jatropha gossypiifolia  L., Sp. Pl.: 1006. 1753; Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1086. 1866; Hook.f., Fl. Br. Ind. 5:  383. 1887; Pax in Engl., IV.147 (Heft 42): 26. 1910; Merr., Enum. Philipp. Pl. 2: 449. 1923; Ridl., Fl. Mal. Pen. 3: 254. 1924; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 326. 1925; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 283. 1972: Kew Bull. Add. Ser. 4: 137. 1975; Chanthar. & Welzen in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 346, Fig. 11: E-L. 2007.

 

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Shrubs up to 3 m tall. Indument long glandular hairs allover, easily visible, sticky. Stipules filiform, c. 5 mm long, gland-tipped. Leaves: petiole 3–14 cm long; blade 3–5-palmatifid, lobes obovate, median one 4–10 by, 2–6 cm, the lateral ones slightly smaller, base cordate, 3–5-nerved, apices acute, mucronulate, glabrous or subglabrous above and beneath, usually bronze-coloured. Inflorescences up to 14 cm long; bracts elliptic, up to 1.3 mm long, apex acuminate. Staminate flowers c. 8 mm in diameter; sepals elliptic, c. 2.5 by 1 mm, apex acute; petals broadly obovate to spade-like, c. 3.5 by 2 mm, apex rounded, glabrous, reddish purple; disc glands free; stamens 8, the 5 outer filaments united in the lower half, the 3 inner ones united for two-thirds. Pistillate flowers: sepals and petals twice as large as in the staminate flowers, otherwise similar; disc shallowly 5-lobed; ovary hirsute, especially towards the apex; stigmas ± free, erect, capitate, bifid. Fruits trilobed, c. 1 by 1.1 cm, smooth, sparingly hirsute to subglabrous, dehiscing both septicidally and partly loculicidally. Seeds somewhat compressed-ovoid to ellipsoid-ovoid, c. 7.5 by 4.5 mm; caruncle multifid.

    T h a i l a n d.— NORTHERN: Chiang Mai, Lampang, Nakhon Sawan, Tak; NORTH-EASTERN: Sakon Nakhon; EASTERN: Nakhon Ratchasima, Roi Et, Surin; CENTRAL: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Suphan Buri; SOUTH-EASTERN: Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Rayong; SOUTH-WESTERN: Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi; PENINSULAR: Narathiwat, Songkhla.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n.— Native of Tropical America, now pantropical.

 

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    E c o l o g y.— Naturalized in drier areas, often abundant on waste ground, along road sides, in secondary forest, and in spiny scrub forest. Altitude: Sea-level up to 700 m.

    V e r n a c u l a r.— La hong daeng (ละหุ่งแดง), sabu daeng (สบู่แดง) (Central); hong thet (หงเทด), sabu lueat (สบู่เลือด), salot daeng (สลอดแดง) (Peninsular).

    U s e s.— Fruit used as aperient (Airy Shaw, 1973). It is a medicinal and poisonous plant similar to J. curcas

 

3.  Jatropha integerrima  Jacq., Select. Strip. Amer. Hist.: 256, t. 183, f. 47. 1763; Pax in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147 (Heft 42): 50. 1910; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 284. 1972; Chanthar. & Welzen in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 347, Fig. 11B, Plate XIX: 2. 2007 Jatropha pandurifolia Andr., Bot. Repos 4: t. 267. 1799; Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1095. 1866; Pax in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147 (Heft 42): 49. 1910; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine 5: 326. 1925.

 

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Shrubs, up to 6 m tall, young shoots sparingly pubescent. Stipules filiform, c. 1 mm long. Leaves: petiole 1–3 cm long, glabrous; blade obovate to subpanduriform, 6–13 by 2–6 cm, base attenuate, margin entire except usually subbasally glandular-denticulate, apex acuminate to cuspidate, tip acute; venation basally 3–5-nerved, with up to 12 pairs nerves along the midrib. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, subcorymbiform, up to 14 cm long; peduncle up to 10 cm long; bracts triangular, up to 4 mm long, basally with glandular teeth. Staminate flowers: pedicel up to 7 mm long; calyx united till halfway, up to 2.5 mm high, lobes subacute or obtuse, entire, glabrous; petals obovate, 10–13 by 4–5 mm, apex rounded, inside basally pubescent, scarlet or pinkish; disc-glands free; stamens 10, the 5 outer filaments united for three-quarters, the 5 inner ones unitd for two-thirds their length. Pistillate flowers: pedicel, sepals, petals, and disc as in staminate flowers; ovary glabrous; style short, stigmas deeply bifid. Fruits trigonous, c. 1 cm in diameter, smooth, dehiscing both septicidally and partly loculicidally. Seeds ellipsoid to ovoid, 8–9 by c. 5 mm wide; curuncle bifid.

    T h a i l a n d.— NORTHERN: Chiang Mai; NORTH-EASTERN: Khon Kaen; EASTERN: Ubon Ratchathani; CENTRAL: Bangkok; SOUTH-EASTERN: Chanthaburi; SOUTH-WESTERN: Kanchanaburi.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n.— Native of West Indies, widely cultivated in tropics.

 

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    E c o l o g y.— Cultivated. Altitude: Sea-level up to 800 m.

    V e r n a c u l a r.— Pattawia (ปัตตาเวีย) (Central); peregrina, spicy Jatropha (English).

    U s e s.— Ornamental plant.

 

4.  Jatropha multifida  L., Sp. Pl.: 1006. 1753; Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1089. 1866; Hook.f., Fl. Br. Ind. 5: 383. 1887; Pax in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147 (Heft 42): 40. 1910; Merr., Enum. Philipp. Pl. 2: 449. 1923; Gagnep. in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine. 5: 325 . 1925; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 284. 1972; Chanthar. & Welzen in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 347, Fig. 11C. 2007.

 

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Shrubs or small trees, up to 7 m high, completely glabrous and eglandular; stems somewhat succulent. Stipules multifid, 1–2 cm long, the apical segments setaceous. Leaves: petiole 10–30 cm long; blade 9–12-palmatipartite, the lobes ranging from simple and elliptic to deeply pinnatipartite, the median lobe up to 15 by 8 cm, the lateral ones similar or slightly smaller, apices cuspidate to caudate, tip acute, sometimes aristate, lower surface glaucous. Inflorescences tightly corymbiform, up to 28 cm long; peduncle up to 23 cm long; bracts elliptic, 2–4 mm long, entire, acute. Staminate flowers: sepals broadly ovate, c. 1 mm long, entire but somewhat erose at the apex; petals obovate, c. 5 by 2.5 mm, apex rounded scarlet; disc glands free; stamens 8, c. 5 mm long, the filaments quite free. Pistillate flowers: sepals and petals as in pistillate flowers, but petals up to 9 mm long; disc glands free; ovary trigonous; style short, stigmas capitate, bilobed. Fruits somewhat obpyriform and trilobed, c. 3 by 3 cm diameter, the lobes slightly keeled, tardily septicidally dehiscent to subdrupaceous. Seeds broadly ovoid-ellipsoid to subglobose, 1.5–2 by c. 1.5 cm.

    T h a i l a n d.— NORTHERN: Chiang Mai; NORTH-EASTERN: Khon Kaen; EASTERN: Ubon Ratchathani; CENTRAL: Bangkok; SOUTH-EASTERN: Chanthaburi; SOUTH-WESTERN: Kanchanaburi.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n.— Native of Tropical and Subtropical America.

 

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    E c o l o g y.— Cultivated. Altitude: Sea-level up to 800 m.

    V e r n a c u l a r.— Mahong daeng (มะหุ่งแดง) (Northern); fin ton (ฝิ่นต้น), malako farang (มะละกอฝรั่ง) (Central); coral plant; physic nut.

    U s e s.— Ornamental plant.

 

5.  Jatropha podagrica  Hook., Curt. Bot. Mag. 74: t. 4376. 1848; Müll.Arg. in DC., Prodr. 15, 2: 1093. 1866; Pax in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147 (Heft 42): 44. 1910; Airy Shaw, Kew Bull. 26: 284. 1972; Chanthar. & Welzen in Welzen & Chayam., Fl. Thailand 8, 2: 348, Fig. 11D. 2007.

 

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Shrubs, up to 2.5 m tall, completely glabrous; stems swollen at base. Stipules branched, up to 5 mm long, glandular, becoming stiff. Leaves: petiole 10–20 cm long; blade peltate, 3–5-lobate, the lobes broadly ovate to obovate, the median lobe up to 20 by 11 cm, the lateral ones similar or slightly smaller, apices subacute, lower surface pale. Inflorescences tightly corymbiform, up to 26 cm long, peduncle up to 20 cm long; bracts triangular, c. 2 mm long, apex subacute. Staminate flowers: sepals broadly ovate, c. 0.6 mm, entire, apex erose or emarginate; petals obovate, 5–6 by c. 2 mm, apex obtuse, scarlet; disc urceolate; stamens 6–8.5 mm long, filaments connate at the base, anthers orange. Pistillate flowers: sepals ovate to elliptic, c. 2 mm long, entire, apex obtuse; petals 6–7 mm long; disc-glands free; ovary ellipsoid; style short, stigmas capitate, bilobed. Fruits ellipsoid, trilobate, c. 1.5 cm diameter, truncate at the apex, dehiscing both septicidally and partly loculicidally. Seeds ellipsoid, c. 1.2 by 6 mm; caruncle small.

    T h a i l a n d.— NORTHERN: Chiang Mai; NORTH-EASTERN: Khon Kaen; EASTERN: Ubon Ratchathani; CENTRAL: Bangkok; SOUTH-EASTERN: Chanthaburi; SOUTH-WESTERN: Kanchanaburi.

    D i s t r i b u t i o n.— Native of Central America.

 

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    E c o l o g y.— Cultivated. Altitude: Sea-level up to 800 m.

    V e r n a c u l a r.— Wan lueat (ว่านเลือด), hanuman nang than (หนุมานนั่งแท่น) (Central); hua laman nang thaen (หัวละมานนั่งแทน) (Prachuap Khiri Khan); gout plant, tartogo.

    U s e s.— Cultivated as ornamental plant.