Jatropha Podagrica - Buddah Belly, Tartogo, Gout Plant, Gout Stick

Discussion in 'Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees' started by DC United Palm Fan, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. DC United Palm Fan

    DC United Palm Fan Member

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    Jatropha Podagrica: Buddah Belly, Gout Plant, Bottle Plant, Tartogo,Guatemala Rhubarb

    Hey everyone.

    Ive been reading through this forum, and Have found no postings here regarding Jatropha Podagrica! I have to say I am somewhat surprised, although I do not believe that this plant has really caught on just yet. These are fantastic plants, and very very easy to grow and care for. They are cool looking, sporting very large / lush deep silky green tropical leaves, and bloom very easily, nearly all year. The blooms on this plant are also very neat. They occur in spikes that appear to have both male and female blooms on them, and they are a very striking and bright coral orange - coral pink. They almost just GLOW!

    I have had my plant for nearly 3 years now, and it has flourished, and has blooms on it most times. This plant is native to central America, parts of Mexico, and Puerto Rico I do believe. My plant has yet to "branch", but they do branch forming "shrubs" or small, almost bonsai like trees, with gigantic leaves.

    This plant does well with moderate to lower watering, and performs best in partial shade. I do not think it prefers the full hot sun all day, although it can adapt. The more shade this plant gets, the larger the leaves will grow!

    This plant, much like the Baobab tree, is at least partially deciduous and will lose most to all of its leaves during the winter season. Mine typically has held on to 1 or 2 leaves. It will produce bloom spikes all year, though more slowly and usually only one at a time during winter. During summer mine has up to 10-15 very large leaves on its singular "trunk" and will have anywhere from 1-3 bloom spikes on it in varying stages of growth. It does not put on hight particularly fast, but it does shoot out leaves and blooms at a very rapid pace during the growing summer season.

    Based on what I have seen, the flowers that produce the seed pods are the 2-4 larger flowers, that occur down in the axis of the "branches" on which most of the other flowers occur. The flowers that occur in these axis are typically much larger than the blooms at the tips of the branches. I guess that should be a good indicator of both male and female flowers on the same plant.

    In the almost 3 years I have had my plant ( this is its second full summer) I have never gotten it to set seed. This is probably due to the fact that I never placed it outdoors until this summer, so it never got pollinated. It seems to attract these very TINY bees, that seem to love the flowers. This year, it finally got pollinated!

    Now that I have got the pods, I just hope I can catch them right, before they explode. Yes, I said explode! The seed pods do explode open when mature, and launch the seeds up to 15 - 20 feet away! I hope I can get mine harvested at the right time before this happens and the seeds scatter, never to be found! Its my understanding that when the pods turn brown is when they are just about ready to pop. Does anyone know this for sure?

    I HIGHLY recommend this plant to anyone! It is extremely easy to care for, and is a joy to grow. Just remember, it does go dormant during the winter months, so do not be alarmed if you see the the leaves begin to yellow, then shrivel and fall off. Remember, the plant can, and often does go completely "bald" during dormancy, although may still produce flowers, and a leaf here and there.

    Anyway, I will attach some photos of my Buddah Belly plant for you all to see. The first of it in the red chair, is the week I purchased it almost 3 years ago, the rest are from this summer. Interestingly enough, I have never seen this plant for sale in any nursery or greenhouse, and purchased the one I have at an IKEA, of all places! =o)
     

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  2. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Thank you so much for your addition to our forum. This forum has been recently created, and this category of plants are, for the most part, still only available through specialty nurseries. I was waiting for someone to show off a Jatropha. There are a few species of this plant that are great caudiciforms, others of the genus still have a somewhat similar flower and leaf, but do not form a caudex.

    I recently obtained a tiny J. podagrica seedling from Arid Lands nursery about a month ago. It probably will not bloom or begin to show it's characteristic shape for a few years. You are correct, the blooms are stunning. I am really anxious to see how mine will grow over the years.

    There are several mail-order nurseries that are selling this plant in the U.S.

    Thank you, again.

    Mark
     
  3. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Really cool plant. Never seen it in for sale in Canada...that's partially why I guess it doesn't come up for discussion. Maybe it's common elsewhere...
     
  4. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing, great looking plant

    Ed
     
  5. tivedo

    tivedo Member

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    hi, a few years ago I got planting materials of gout plant (jatropha podagrica) from a friend, right now I have more than a hundred of these plants. I do seed propagation and thought of selling it (seeds or plants). I found out that the plant has toxicity level 2. I'm searching on what other benefits can I get from it (aside from being an ornamental plant). Thanks. GOD BLESS YOU!
     
  6. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/69500556/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    The above is a research article abstract and appears to be reliable information. It basically describes the plant's use as a possible antibiotic and antifungal.

    http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=610&taxon_id=242413466

    The next one describes it's use in Chinese medicine. I am not sure if it is reliable information.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez

    I am not sure if the link above will be active if "clicked" on, however, if you do a search in the PubMed site and type in "Jatropha podagrica", you will find at least 10 medical research articles on the plant. PubMed is one of the sources that we, in the medical field, use for finding reliable research information, so whatever you find on there has been peer-reviewed and should be considered good information.

    Mark


    P.S. What you will find is primarily in abstract form and not the complete article. However, if you take the abstract information (author, journal, date, ID#, etc.) and take it to a public or medical library (found at the hospital), they can order the complete article for you (usually for a small fee). Once you have the article, there will usually be author contact information. You can then contact the author and inquire if they would be interested in your plants or perhaps they can give you contact information of someone who is.
     
  7. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Coincidentally enough, I read this news in the Columbus Dispatch of October 5:

    "Plant's Oily Seeds Might Benefit Haiti
    Jatropha, a wasteland shrub that is common in Haiti, is now seen as a promising source of biofuel and might become an economic boon to the impoverished Caribbean nation. The United States and Brazil signed an agreement last year to help Haiti and other tropical countries explore the potential of jatropha, whose seeds are rich in oil. For centuries, the toxic plant has been used by Haitian voodoo practitioners, who say it purges evil spirits and frees the souls of the dead."

    Fascinating! And a beautiful plant, as well.
     
  8. tivedo

    tivedo Member

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    markinwestmich,

    thank you for the information you gave. the 3rd site ncbi-pubmed has many articles about the gout plant. yeah...the info helps. thanks again. GOD BLESS YOU!

    tivedo
     
  9. DC United Palm Fan

    DC United Palm Fan Member

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    Hello everyone. IT has been quite some time since I have posted on here, and I thought I would drop in and just give a photo update of my Jatropha Podagrica. In fact, it has been just over 1 year! SO with that, I will get right to the photos. My plant has really done extremely well in the last year. It kept several of its leaves all winter long last winter, and really has taken off this summer. The size difference you will see is pretty remarkable! It has produced far more leaves this summer, and has some leaves reaching about 1 foot across. It also has the most leaves it has ever had at one time, 22. It has constantly bloomed as well, and frequently has two flower stalks on it. I have obtained some seeds from it, and even sprouted two, but they did not live due largely to being forgotten about. I had 6 seed pods on it recently, but I recently moved, and the pods were broken off before they matured. The subsequent bloom spike was not pollinated, and it did not set seed. I polinated the current bloom spike myself, so hopefully that will work and I will have a fresh crop of mature seeds soon. To date, this has been one of the best plants I have ever owned and has done fantastically, with very little care. This truly is one of the "easiest" plants for anyone to grow and have thrive, with very little care and knowledge. All you need is a little water now and then, and some direct sun, not much, even dappled sunlight is fine, and this plant will THRIVE. Here are the Photos:
     

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  10. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Thanks for the update, DC! Always interesting to have a follow-up to a post, and to see how a plant has grown and thrived in the interim. Yours looks good!
     
  11. OrchidLady

    OrchidLady New Member

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    I just recently purchased this plant not knowing much about it...but because of the pecular look and beauty of the plant I was very intrigued. I am surprised that your regular nurseries do not carry them and I have only found them really available online. The one that I purchased was actually from a yardsale and appears to be a very mature plant...not quite sure how old it is though. It has a noticeable rounded belly and three primary stems that branch off into blooming brackets. I am very pleased to have purchased this plant with 3 main flowering stems with 14 seed pods and 3 more flowering brackets growing. Right now it is still in the cold season and the leaves have not started growing yet, so I am anticipated the much talked about leaves of this plant. I was happy to find out more information from your post and wanted to share with you some pictures of my plant that has now become one of my favorites!
     

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