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Jatropha cathartica – Berlander's Nettlespurg


Scientific Name

Jatropha cathartica Terán & Berland.

Common Names

Berlander's Nettlespurg


Adenoropium berlandieri, Jatropha berlandieri

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Jatropheae
Genus: Jatropha


Jatropha cathartica is a caudex forming perennial that produces a round, fat, textured base and attractive blue green, deeply lobed leaves. The large caudex is globose, pastel-white, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and up to 8 inches (20 cm) wide. The stems are up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and have petioles up to 7 inches (17.5 cm) long. Throughout the growing season, clusters of pink flowers rise above the foliage. Seed capsules are large and attractive, with greenish skin and white stripes around each segment. Goes dormant during the winter months.

Jatropha cathartica - Berlander's Nettlespurg

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USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

The key to growing successful Jatropha is to achieve the proper balance between moisture and drainage. They typically appreciate a steady supply of water, but the most popular species cannot tolerate being submerged or soaked and will quickly succumb to root rot. Many of the popular Jatropha species make excellent small trees for a conservatory or sunny corner. Keep them well pruned so they don't outgrow their space too soon. Jatropha are vulnerable to pests including aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and white fly. If possible, identify the infestation as early as possible and treat with the leave toxic option.

Jatropha can be propagated by seed (if you're fortunate enough to get sides) or by stem cuttings. To take stem cuttings, remove a small piece of stem, dip it in rooting hormone, then pot into a small pot with seedling starter soil. Place in a warm, bright place and wait for new growth to emerge… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Jatropha


Native to Texas in the United States and Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico.


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