Goutystalk Nettlespurge


Succulentopedia

Jatropha podagrica (Buddha Belly Plant)

Jatropha podagrica is a tropical succulent shrub that grows up to 8 feet (2.4 m) tall. It has a large, bottle-like, grey-skinned, knobby…


Join me for the Journey

Our ‘home away from home’ for the next couple of days was Seloliman Resort, an eco styled place with accommodation made up of cabins in a large garden.

After settling into our cabin, my travelling mate Brian and I went for a bit of a wander around the garden, listening to the cicadas and watching multi-coloured butterflies flit from one brilliantly coloured flower to the next. The only down side was that the area also seems to be a Mecca for motocross bike riding. Their noisy exhausts echoed around the hillsides completely destroying the other-wise very peaceful atmosphere of the place. Never mind… there was much in the garden to enjoy and photograph.

The front entrance of Seloliman Resort appeared to be nothing special, but…

… it was a very unusual entrance….through a longish tunnel that had this amazing root growth dangling down from a plant growing above on the roof.

The older roots were beige / white while the new growth was a brilliant pink.

The gardens where the chalets were situated were large and laid out in a very natural way. Grassy and earthen paths wound their way through the lush growth.

Large St Joseph’s spiders spin their webs within the foliage.

The smaller spider is a male. He’s dicing with death as the larger female will devour him after mating! But what has to be done, has to be done, I guess!

Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) has a form relating to its Latin name! It’s an herbaceous perennial found growing in tropical equatorial Asia. It’s been introduced into Africa, Australia and America where it’s grown as an ornamental. It’s also used as a revegetation species in coal mines in Australia. It’s a legume, so it enriches the soil with nitrogen.

This vivid blue flower is the commonly seen colour, compared to the one above. There are also white forms.

Parts of the garden were a tangle of cucurbit vines growing through the vegetation…

A closer look at this delightful flower and it’s pollinator.

This plant could well have a name referring to ‘fairy floss’, but I don’t know what it is.

Heliconia sp., members of the genus are often referred to as Lobster-claw. They are closely related to the banana and are widely grown in the tropics as an ornamental.

Another Heliconia species.

A Hibiscus flower. One of many thousands of horticultural forms bred around the world.

And another one… I really couldn’t decide which one to delete.

I was not familiar with this flower, so…

I photographed the name on the plaque beside it… always a good idea.

I checked it out on the web when I got home and found it named just as the plaque said, Jatropha podagrica hook. The site, ‘World of Succulents”, gave these notes as an addition to their photograph (left): “a tropical, frost-sensitive, succulent shrub, up to 8 feet (2.4 m) tall (usually up to 3 feet / 90 cm). It has a swollen and knobby, grey-skinned stem (large bottle-like caudex) and green, smooth, waxy leaves, up 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter. The flowers are small, coral-like and bright red in colour.”

English common names for this plant include, wait for it…Buddha Belly (the most common name), Petit Baobab, Bottle Plant Shrub, Gouty-stalked Jatropha, Purging-nut, Guatemalan Rhubarb, Goutystalk Nettlespurge, White Rhubarb, Physicnut, Podagrica, Bali Gout Plant, Tartogo nut, Gouty Foot, Gout plant, Gout Stick, Gout Stalk and last but not least, Coral Plant! So, I’m very thankful that it has but one scientific name.

Allamanda cathartica, bursting with the colour of sunshine. It’s most common name is Golden Trumpet but it also known as Yellow Alamanda and Alamanda Canario! All parts are poisonous if eaten its sap causes skin and eye irritation.

A horticultural variety of Anthurium.

A dragon fly taking a rest on a twig. Just look at those wings! So delicate.

Peacock Flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), a tree widely grown in the tropics.

This brown frog jumped across my path and sat still long enough to be photographed… and I caught the gleam in its eye! The brown ‘patch’ behind the eye is a thin tympanic membrane, or eardrum, that protects the inner ear cavity and helps to transmit sound vibrations… sounds that are essential for the frog’s survival.

Crepe or Malay ginger (Costus speciosus) occurs throughout Southeast Asia. The name of ‘crepe’ refers to the amazing crinkled crepe effect of the petals.

Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia versicolor) is an evergreen tree growing to about 4m in height. Endemic to Ecuador, it belongs to the Solanaceae family and is often found in tropical gardens. However, I’m not too sure why it’s so popular. It’s known that the flowers, leaves, and seeds of Brugmansia are very toxic and even the perfume can cause hallucinations as well as increasing blood pressure, a dry mouth, muscle weakness and paralysis. Since March 2014, this plant has been listed as Extinct in the Wild … so the only place to see it now is in gardens… and it is attractive.

A young tree of Maniltoa sp. that we had seen before at another garden. Finding this tree was a delightful end to a very pleasant walk. More anon.

All photographs copyright © DY of jtdytravels

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Contents

J. podagrica is a caudiciform perennial herb growing up to 1 metre (3 feet) tall. [4] [5] [6] The grey-green, knobby, swollen caudex has a bottle-like appearance, giving rise to some of the common names. Leaves are held on long fleshy yet stout petioles which emerge from the tip of the stem and radiate in all directions. Leaves are peltate and 3 or 5 lobed. Dense clusters of small, orange-red, flowers are held above the leaves on long slim peduncles. The clusters carry both male and female flowers and flowering continues for most of the year. [4] [5] [8] Fruit are green capsules at first, becoming blackish-brown at maturity, when they explode and scatter their seeds up to 4 metres (13 feet) away. [5] [6]

When cut, the plant exudes a copious sticky sap which may cause dermatitis on contact. [8]

The swollen caudex, showy leaves, and colourful flowers make J. podagrica an attractive ornamental, and it is grown as an indoor plant in many parts of the world.

There are many uses of J. podagrica in folk medicine, including as an analgesic, tonic, aphrodisiac, purgative, laxative, and to treat infections, intestinal worms, snakebite, gout, and more. [4] [5] [6] [9] Other uses include tanning, dye making, soap making, biofuel, fish poison, lamp lighting, and fertiliser. [4] [5] [6]

Additionally, a number of research projects have sought to identify medicinally useful compounds from J. podagrica. [10] [11] [12]

All parts of the plant are considered toxic, in particular the seeds. The main toxins are a purgative oil and a phytotoxin or toxalbumin (curcin) similar to ricin in Ricinis. [6] [13]


Watch the video: Jatropa podagrica


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