Jatropha – Identification
Q: Seven years ago my stepmother purchased a hanging basket with a variety of plants. One plant she removed and planted into a pot. It has grown into a tree with some kind of seed pods and pretty pink flowers. We would love to know what it is.
A: Clayton County Extension agent Winston Eason says you have a jatropha plant. There are many members of the jatropha genus but several are ornamental plants.
Another use for a couple of the jatropha clan is extracting bio-diesel oil from the seeds. This attracted a lot of attention several years ago because oil jatropha grows on marginal land. However, the yields from the plant have turned out to be too variable to make good economic sense at this time.