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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. Last Changed: 19-Sep-2017
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA)
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. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  2. Adams, C. Flowering plants of Jamaica (F Jam)
  3. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  4. Balakrishnan, N. P. & T. Chakrabarty The family Euphorbiaceae in India; a synopsis of its profile, taxonomy and bibliography (Euphorb India)
  5. Balick, M. J. et al. Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, with common names and uses. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 85 (L Belize NY)
  6. Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal 1992. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. (Esp Veg Prom) 7:542-576.
  7. Dehgan, B. 2012. Jatropha (Euphorbiaceae) Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 110:151-158.
  8. 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 Food Ind) 166-168.
  9. Duke, J. A. Handbook of Nuts (Handb Nuts)
  10. Duke, J. A. 1999. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  11. Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  12. Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen (Zander Ency)
  13. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  14. Govaerts, R. et al. World checklist and bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (L Euphorb)
  15. Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  16. Heller, J. 1996. Physic nut. Jatropha curcas L. (Prom Underused Crops) 1:1-66.
  17. Howard, R. Flora of the lesser Antilles. (F LAnt)
  18. Kartesz, J. T. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. (L US Can ed2)
  19. Kellerman, T. S. et al. Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in Southern Africa (Kellerman et al.)
  20. Killeen, T. J. et al. Guia de arboles de Bolivia (Trees Bolivia)
  21. Kingsbury, J. M. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. (Kingsbury)
  22. Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants (Lampe & McCann)
  23. Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. (Hortus 3)
  24. Liogier, H. A. Descriptive flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands. (F PuertoR)
  25. Liogier, H. A. Flora of Hispaniola: Part 1; La Flora de la Española. Part II-. (F Hispan)
  26. Mabberley, D. J. The plant-book: a portable dictionary of the vascular plants, ed. 2 (Pl Book)
  27. Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. Flora of Peru (F Peru)
  28. McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  29. Missouri Botanical Garden W³Tropicos (on-line resource). (TROPICOS)
  30. Padua, L. S. de et al., eds. 1999. Medicinal and poisonous plants 1 (Pl Res SEAs) 12(1):324.
  31. Parsons, W. T. & E. G. Cuthbertson Noxious weeds of Australia (Noxweed Aust)
  32. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  33. Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants (Dict Rehm)
  34. Reitz, R., ed. Flora ilustrada catarinense. (F SCatarin)
  35. Royal Tropical Institute 2007. Sustainable biofuel in Mali
  36. 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.
  37. Standley, P. C. & J. A. Steyermark Flora of Guatemala. (F Guat)
  38. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. (F TE Afr)
  39. Vasquez, R. & J. A. Duke Amazonian ethnobotanical dictionary. (Amaz Ethnobot Dict)
  40. Zuloaga, F. O. & O. Morrone, eds. 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. (L Argent)

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. 2019. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=20692. Accessed 16 June 2019.