Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jatropha multifida.......Coral Plant

 Originating in Mexico, Brasil and the West Indies and belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae, Coral plant is a fast growing, semi-succulent  shrub or small tree with a single trunk, a loose, spreading crown and a typical height of 6-10ft but can be pruned to a desirable height.

The distinctive 7 to 15 lobed, finely divided leaves grow up to 12" wide and are reminiscent of Cannabis leaves. They are dark green above and lighter beneath. 

 It's preference is for full sun and slightly moist soil but it does require good drainage in the cooler months here on the south coast of Spain.

The flowers are bright coral red and borne in flat-topped clusters on short upright stems. 

 Coral plant blooms on and off all year long, and especially during hot weather. 
Most Euphorbias have a milky sap that flows from broken stems, but that of the coral plant looks more like cloudy water.

The fruits are yellow when ripe, round and nut like.

Perhaps not renowned for it's beauty,  it certainly is a curiously attractive plant and extremely generous with it's seedlings which spring up all around the mother plant.