Jatropha podagrica blooms throughout the year, with an attractive coral-red inflorescence and petioles decorated with sunny yellow anthers. The flowers produce a nectar that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and bears non-edible, green fruit that explodes, launching seeds several feet away when ripe. All parts of J. podagrica, especially the seeds, contain a toxin called curcin that causes nausea and diarrhea, hence the nickname ‘purging nut’. Other common names, such as ‘gout plant’ and ‘Buddha’s belly’, is bestowed upon the plant for its thick and swollen trunk.
Common Name | Gout Plant, Buddha’s Belly
Family Name | Euphorbiaceae
Native to | Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, and Nicaragua