Friday, June 21, 2013

An attractive spurge

I saw this plant growing in Hollywood and didn't know what it was:



I could tell by the flowers, stems, leaf structure, white sap and tri-lobed fruit that it was in the Euphorbiaceae family... but I didn't know the specific plant name.


Since I couldn't leave it alone, and because I have a love for cassava, chaya, and a few other members of the spurge family, I nabbed a bunch of seeds and took a few cuttings. When I got home and did a little searching, I discovered it was called the "Coral plant," known more specifically as Jatropha multifida. (See more here.)

Other than being pretty, it's apparently a useless and toxic plant. (Of course - we know better than that!  Pretty much every plant does something worthwhile... it's just that some of those uses haven't been discovered yet.)

These are only supposed to grow in USDA zone 10, but I'm going to try them in my home food forest anyhow. What do I have to lose? The seeds were free.

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3 Comments:

At June 21, 2013 at 9:42 AM , Blogger jean said...

I totally agree with you, David. All plants have their worth. We just haven't discovered it all. I never heard of the coral plant, but I like the flowers.

 
At June 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM , Blogger Terressa Zook said...

I grew this in S.W. Florida. It is a great pollinator plant. But be ready for curious onlookers, as it does resemble cannibis.

 
At June 25, 2013 at 8:46 AM , Blogger Terressa Zook said...

I grew this in S.W. Florida. It is a great pollinator plant. But be ready for curious onlookers, as it does resemble cannibis.

 

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