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  GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
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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
Typification: View record from Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project of the Natural History Museum of London.
Name verified on: 05-Sep-2013 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 05-Sep-2013
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA).
Accessions: 1 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • Barbados-nut   (Source: Noxweed Aust ) – English
  • bubblebush   (Source: CRC MedHerbs ed2 ) – English
  • physicnut   (Source: Hortus 3 ) – English
  • purgenut   (Source: Kellerman et al.1988) – 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 béni   (Source: F LAnt ) – French
  • médicinier barrière   (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: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-de-cerca   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-de-purga   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-manso   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • pinhão-paraguaio   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • frailejón   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • piñón   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • piñón blanco   (Source: J.A. Duke, p.c. 1999) – Spanish
  • tártago   (Source: F PuertoR ) – Spanish
  • mbono   (Source: PROTA4U ) – Swahili
  • oljejatrofa   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – 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 web document)
  • 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:

    Southern Mexico: Mexico - Chiapas
    Mesoamerica: Belize; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua
    Brazil: Brazil
    Western South America: Bolivia; Peru
    Southern South America: Argentina; Paraguay

  • widely naturalized in tropics

  • widely cultivated in tropics


  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).
  • Adams, C. 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson. 2009. Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin).
  • Balakrishnan, N. P. & T. Chakrabarty. 2007. The family Euphorbiaceae in India; a synopsis of its profile, taxonomy and bibliography.
  • Balick, M. J. et al. 2000. Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, with common names and uses. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 85.
  • Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal. 1992. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. 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. Pp. 166–168 in: Wickens, G. E. et al., eds., New crops for food and industry.
  • Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs.
  • Duke, J. A. 1989. Handbook of Nuts. CRC Press.
  • Duke, J. A. 1999. pers. comm. [re. common names].
  • Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource).
  • Govaerts, R. et al. 2000. World checklist and bibliography of Euphorbiaceae.
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. [re. Brazilian common names].
  • Heller, J. 1996. Physic nut. Jatropha curcas L. In: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), Promoting the conservation and use of underutilized and neglected crops. 1:1–66.
  • Howard, R. 1974–1989. Flora of the lesser Antilles.
  • Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  • Kellerman, T. S. et al. 1988. Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in Southern Africa.
  • Killeen, T. J. et al. 1993. Guia de arboles de Bolivia.
  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. [poisonous].
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann. 1985. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. [poisonous].
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  • Liogier, A. H. 1981–. Flora of Hispaniola: Part 1; La Flora de la Española. Part II-.
  • Liogier, H. A. 1984–. Descriptive flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands.
  • Mabberley, D. J. 1997. The plant-book: a portable dictionary of the vascular plants, ed. 2.
  • Macbride, J. F. et al., eds. 1936–1971. Flora of Peru.; new ser. 1980-
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden. W³Tropicos (on-line resource).
  • Padua, L. S. de et al., eds. 1999. Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 12(1):324.
  • Parsons, W. T. & E. G. Cuthbertson. 1992. Noxious weeds of Australia.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Reitz, R., ed. 1965–. Flora ilustrada catarinense.
  • Royal Tropical Institute. 2007. Sustainable biofuel in Mali. [re. potential use as fuel substitute].
  • 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. 1946–1976. Flora of Guatemala.
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952–. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  • Vasquez, R. & J. A. Duke. 1994. Amazonian ethnobotanical dictionary.
  • Zuloaga, F. O. & O. Morrone, eds. 1996. 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., 1999

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 Database 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.

Check other web resources for images:

  • Google Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (27 November 2015)

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