Jatropha (Gout plant) is an attention grabber and a must in every tropical garden. It has a large bottle-like caudex and huge leaves up to 10-12 inches in diameter. The more shade, the bigger the leaves. Great natural bonsai. Makes a good potted plant but can also be used as a conversation piece specimen in a small garden. This showy plant grows about 2-3 ft high, with a knobby, swollen stem and red flowers in large terminal clusters. Partial sun and a well-drained soil are preferred. Propagation is by seeds, which are produced freely and germinate easily. When the seeds ripen, they burst open, so watch them to turn brown before you miss them jumping away! Seed pods will explode, launching the seeds several feet away.
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