FW: Unknown plant [is Jatropha]

Neill, Amanda aneill at NYBG.ORG
Mon Jan 22 12:53:52 CST 2001


Taxacomers,
  If some votes are for Jatropha, you should know that the illustrated plant
(link below) was sold as Jatropha x compacta, a houseplant I killed several
years ago, and probably a cultivar of J. integerrima, a shrub native to
Cuba.  The petioles were more swollen than the illustration shows, and there
are indeed small glandular projections at the base of each leaf.  The plant
is popular in the horticultural trade, grows easily from cuttings, and could
probably escape in a tropical habitat.
Amanda (Mandy) Neill


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Mayfield
To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
Sent: 1/19/01 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: Unknown plant [is Jatropha]

I just now noticed the thread....

I am fairly confident that Monique Reed was on the right track: the
unknown
leaf (http://193.204.185.103/leaf/leafpage.htm) with three lobes is a
species of Jatropha as shown at
http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/mandy/jatropha.htm.  I have a potted
plant of
the latter (not sure what species it is) and it looks nearly identical
to
the unknown.  The yellow blotching is apparently due to the pathology,
rather than a character of papaya, which I think it is probably not.
One of
the more convincing characters available in the image is the long
swelling
at the base of the petiole; this looks just like my plant. If this is a
Jatropha like the one I have, it should have a few small projections at
the
base of the leaf blade near the petiolar junction.  These may be the
"glandular" projections mentioned by Fernandez-Casas.  My plant doesn't
look
particularly glandular at the base of the blade, but I'm certain by its
flowers that it's a Jatropha as in the image at
http://www.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/mandy/jatropha.htm.

Lastly, I am very certain that the unknown is NOT Euphorbia pulcherrima
and
it is not even in the genus Euphorbia; and Brousonettia has dentate
leaves.

Mark H. Mayfield
Research Asst. Professor
Division of Biology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas 66506-4901




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