Jatropha multifida
Common Name: coralbush 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Native Range: Tropical Americas
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Coral red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12 where it is easily grown in slightly fertile, rocky or sandy, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Best flowering in full sun. Some drought tolerance once established. Best with regular applications of water throughout the growing season but with reduced water in winter. Propagate by seed or cuttings. Plants may self-seed near the base of plant, and the seedlings can be dug and used as starter plants. Prune as necessary to control shape. Indoor houseplants should be grown in containers having a gritty, well-drained, soil based potting mix. Containers may be taken outside in summer but must be brought inside prior to first fall frost. Coral plant is frost sensitive. Some winter leaf drop may occur in climates where temperatures dip below 40 degrees F.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Jatropha multifida, commonly known as coral plant, is a single-trunked evergreen shrub or small tree that is native from Mexico through Central America to Brazil. It is now grown in tropical to sub-tropical areas throughout the world as an ornamental shrub featuring large, lobed and divided, orbicular leaves plus a long showy bloom of coral-red flowers. It typically grows in gardens to 6-10' tall, but in optimum conditions may occasionally reach 15-20' tall. Small flowers (each to 1/4" across) bloom for most of the year in terminal flat-topped clusters (compound cymes). Each orbicular leaf (to 12" diameter) contains 7-11 palmate finely divided lobes. All plant parts contain a toxic milky sap which is poisonous if ingested.

Genus name from the Greek words iatros meaning physician and trophe meaning food in reference to the edible seed (in very small quantities) of some species.

Specific epithet from Latin means much cleft in reference to the leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Potential insect pests include aphids, mealybugs and scale. Potential disease problems include root rot and leaf spot. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Uses

Where winter hardy this evergreen flowering shrub is an ornamental for borders, landscape accent/specimen, foundations or patio containers. In cooler climates, container plants may be brought indoors for winter or plants may be grown as houseplants.