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Taxon: Jatropha curcas L.

Genus: Jatropha
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Jatropheae
Nomen number: 20692
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:1006. "Gurcas"; 2: errata. 1753
Link to protologue:
Typification: View in Linnean Typification Project
Name Verified on: 05-Sep-2013 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 14 (1 active, 0 available) in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

  • Barbados-nut  (Source: Noxweed Aust) - English
  • bubblebush  (Source: CRC MedHerbs ed2) - English
  • physicnut  (Source: Hortus 3) - English
  • purgenut  (Source: Kellerman et al.) - English
  • purgingnut  (Source: Handb Nuts) - English
  • fève d'enfer  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • grand pignon d'Inde  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • gros ricin  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • médicinier  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • médicinier barrière  (Source: F LAnt) - French
  • médicinier béni  (Source: F LAnt) - French
  • médicinier purgatif  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • pignon d'Inde  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • purghère  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • Purgiernuß  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • Termitenbaum  (Source: Zander Ency) - German
  • ratanjyor  (Source: Dict Rehm) - India
  • galamaluco  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • grão-de-maluco  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • purgueira  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • ricino-major  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • manduri-graça  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-de-cerca  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-de-purga  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-manso  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-paraguaio  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • frailejón  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • piñón  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • piñón blanco  (Source: pers. comm.) - Spanish
  • tártago  (Source: F PuertoR) - Spanish
  • mbono  (Source: PROTA4U) - Swahili
  • oljejatrofa  (Source: Kulturvaxtdatabas) - Swedish

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: boundary/barrier/support; erosion control
  • Fuels:
  • Harmful organism host:
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (fide New Crops 146. 1989; Pl Res SEAs 12(1):324. 1999, for blue dye)
  • Medicines:
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals; mammals

Distributional Range:


    Northern America
    • SOUTHERN MEXICO: Mexico [Chiapas]

    Southern America
    • CENTRAL AMERICA: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
    • BRAZIL: Brazil
    • WESTERN SOUTH AMERICA: Bolivia, Peru
    • SOUTHERN SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Paraguay

    Cultivated (widely cult. in tropics)

    Naturalized (widely natzd. in tropics)


  1. Adams, C. 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica
  2. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson. 2012. Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) URL: www.skud.info
  3. Balakrishnan, N. P. & T. Chakrabarty. 2007. The family Euphorbiaceae in India; a synopsis of its profile, taxonomy and bibliography
  4. Balick, M. J. et al. 2000. Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, with common names and uses. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 85
  5. Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal. 1992. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. 7:542-576.
  6. Dehgan, B. 2012. Jatropha (Euphorbiaceae). Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 110:151-158.
  7. Delgado-Montoya, J. L. & E. Parado-Tejada. 1989. Potential multipurpose agroforestry crops identified for the Mexican tropics. In: G. E. Wickens et al., New crops for food and industry. New crops for food and industry 166-168.
  8. Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs
  9. Duke, J. A. 1989. Handbook of Nuts CRC Press.
  10. Duke, J. A. 1999. pers. comm. Note: re. common names
  11. Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen
  12. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Jatropha+curcas&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  13. Govaerts, R. et al. 2000. World checklist and bibliography of Euphorbiaceae
  14. Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. Note: re. Brazilian common names
  15. Heller, J. 1996. Physic nut. Jatropha curcas L.. Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 1:1-66.
  16. Howard, R. 1974-1989. Flora of the lesser Antilles.
  17. Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  18. Kellerman, T. S. et al. 1988. Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in Southern Africa
  19. Killeen, T. J. et al. 1993. Guia de arboles de Bolivia
  20. Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Note: poisonous
  21. Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann. 1985. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants Note: poisonous
  22. Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  23. Liogier, H. A. 1981-. Flora of Hispaniola: Part 1; La Flora de la Española. Part II-.
  24. Liogier, H. A. 1984-. Descriptive flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands.
  25. Mabberley, D. J. 1997. The plant-book: a portable dictionary of the vascular plants, ed. 2
  26. Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. 1936-. Flora of Peru Note: 1936-1971; new ser. 1980-
  27. McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2 American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Maryland.
  28. Missouri Botanical Garden. W³Tropicos (on-line resource).
  29. Padua, L. S. de et al., eds. 1999. Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) 12(1):324.
  30. Parsons, W. T. & E. G. Cuthbertson. 1992. Noxious weeds of Australia Inkata Press, Melbourne, Australia.
  31. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  32. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
  33. Reitz, R., ed. 1965-. Flora ilustrada catarinense.
  34. Royal Tropical Institute. 2007. Sustainable biofuel in Mali. Note: re. potential use as fuel substitute
  35. Salvador-Figueroa, M. et al. 2015. Genetic diversity and structure of Jatropha curcas L. in its centre of origin. Pl. Genet. Resources Charact. Util. 13:9-17.
  36. Standley, P. C. & J. A. Steyermark. 1946-1976. Flora of Guatemala.
  37. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952-. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  38. Vasquez, R. & J. A. Duke. 1994. Amazonian ethnobotanical dictionary. Note: CRC Press
  39. Zuloaga, F. O. & O. Morrone, eds. 1996, 1999. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de la República Argentina. I. Pteridophyta, Gymnospermae y Angiospermae (Monocotyledonae), II. Dicotyledonae. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 60, 74.
  40. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

Check other web resources for Jatropha curcas L. :

  • Flora del Conosur: Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Conosur
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=20692. Accessed 10 August 2020.