Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Jatropha curcas
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999.
   Euphorbiaceae -- The Spurge Family Bibliography
      Jatropha curcas

Common name(s): kuikui, kuku`ihi, Pake (Ni`ihau), physic nut
General Information
DistributionNative presumably to Mexico and Guatemala, now widely distributed throughout tropical regions as a medicinal or hedge plant and often escaping.In the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Maui, Hawai`i.

Glabrous shrubs or small trees 2-5 m tall.
Leaves broadly ovate, 12-40 cm long, 9-15 cm wide, 3-5-angled or shallowly lobed, rarely subentire, sparsely puberulent when young, soon glabrate, petioles (3-)9-15 cm long, stipules minute, absent on mature leaves, entire.
Flowers in terminal dichasia, peduncles 4-10 cm long; male flowers with pedicels 1-5 mm long, calyx 2.8-3.5 mm long, petals greenish to yellowish white, obovate, 5-6 mm long, stamens (8-)10, filaments connate below the middle; female flowers with pedicels 5-9 mm long, elongating to 10-14 mm long in fruit, calyx 7-9 mm long, petals similar to those of male flowers, ovary glabrous.
Capsules ellipsoid, 2.5-3 cm long and in diameter, essentially unlobed, ± fleshy, eventually drying and dehiscent.
Seeds black, 1.5-2.2 cm long, beaked.
2n = 22, 44, 88