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:
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: 1 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:

  • Harmful organism host: crop pests (fide Noxweed Aust)
  • Environmental: boundary/barrier/support (fide PROTA4U)
  • Environmental: erosion control (fide PROTA4U)
  • Fuels: potential as petroleum substitute/alcohol (fide,)
  • Materials: lipids (for candle- and soapmaking fide Pl Book)
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (fide New Crops 146. 1989; Pl Res SEAs 12(1):324. 1999, for blue dye)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide R. Vasquez & J. A. Duke, Amazonian ethnobotanical dictionary; Pl Res SEAs 12(1):324. 1999; CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Vertebrate poisons: fish (fide PROTA4U)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide PROTA4U)

Distributional Range:


  • Northern America

    • Southern Mexico: Mexico Chiapas
  • Southern America

    • Brazil: Brazil
    • Central America: Belize ; Costa Rica ; El Salvador ; Guatemala ; Honduras ; Nicaragua
    • Southern South America: Argentina ; Paraguay
    • Western South America: Bolivia ; Peru

  • Naturalized



  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Adams, C. Flowering plants of Jamaica. 1972 (F Jam)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Balakrishnan, N. P. & T. Chakrabarty The family Euphorbiaceae in India; a synopsis of its profile, taxonomy and bibliography. 2007 (Euphorb India)
  • Balick, M. J. et al. Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, with common names and uses. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 85. 2000 (L Belize NY)
  • Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal 1992. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. (Esp Veg Prom) 7:542-576.
  • Dehgan, B. 2012. Jatropha (Euphorbiaceae) Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 110:151-158.
  • 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.
  • Duke, J. A. Handbook of Nuts. CRC Press. 1989 (Handb Nuts)
  • Duke, J. A. 1999. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Govaerts, R. et al. World checklist and bibliography of Euphorbiaceae. 2000 (L Euphorb)
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Heller, J. 1996. Physic nut. Jatropha curcas L. (Prom Underused Crops) 1:1-66.
  • Howard, R. Flora of the lesser Antilles. (F LAnt)
  • Kartesz, J. T. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. (L US Can ed2)
  • Kellerman, T. S. et al. Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in Southern Africa. 1988 (Kellerman et al.)
  • Killeen, T. J. et al. Guia de arboles de Bolivia. 1993 (Trees Bolivia)
  • Kingsbury, J. M. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. (Kingsbury)
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. 1985 (Lampe & McCann)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. (Hortus 3)
  • Liogier, A. H. Flora of Hispaniola: Part 1; La Flora de la Española. Part II-. (F Hispan)
  • Liogier, H. A. Descriptive flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands. (F PuertoR)
  • Mabberley, D. J. The plant-book: a portable dictionary of the vascular plants, ed. 2. 1997 (Pl Book)
  • Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. Flora of Peru. 1936-1971; new ser. 1980- (F Peru)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Missouri Botanical Garden W³Tropicos (on-line resource). (TROPICOS)
  • Padua, L. S. de et al., eds. 1999. Medicinal and poisonous plants 1 (Pl Res SEAs) 12(1):324.
  • Parsons, W. T. & E. G. Cuthbertson Noxious weeds of Australia. 1992 (Noxweed Aust)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Reitz, R., ed. Flora ilustrada catarinense. (F SCatarin)
  • Royal Tropical Institute 2007. Sustainable biofuel in Mali
  • 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.
  • Standley, P. C. & J. A. Steyermark Flora of Guatemala. (F Guat)
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. (F TE Afr)
  • Vasquez, R. & J. A. Duke Amazonian ethnobotanical dictionary. (Amaz Ethnobot Dict)
  • 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.