Jatropha macrorhiza, Ragged Nettlespurge
Scientific Name: Jatropha macrorhiza
Common Name: Ragged Nettlespurge
Also Called: Ragged Jatropha, Spanish (Jirawilla, Jicamilla, Bahada)
Family: Euphorbiaceae, Spurge or Euphorbia Family
Synonyms: (Jatropha arizonica, Jatropha macrorhiza var. septemfida)
Size: Up to 20 inches (50 cm)
Growth Form: Forb/herb; tuberish root; stems erect and may be purplish, foliage glabrous, exudes a clear latex when injured,
Leaves: Green, alternate, palmately lobed with 7 to 9 lobes, lobes irregularly toothed, single teeth with a slender bristle, leaves may be purplish, petioles present.
Flower Color: Pink, bright pink; 5 petals, sepals almost as long as the petals; flowers in dense cymes; fruit a 3-lobed capsule equal to or larger than the flower, fruits glabrous.
Flowering Season: May to October
Elevation: 3,500 to 7,500 feet - (1067 to 2286 m)
Habitat Preferences: Hillsides, mesas, sandy washes, grasslands and plains; Upper Sonoran Desert through Chaparral and Oak-Woodland communities.
Recorded Range: Jatropha macrorhiza is rare in the United States where it is found in AZ, NM and TX. The most reliable populations occur in Arizona, in Apache, Cochise, Pima and Santa Cruz counties. In New Mexico species occur in Hidalgo County and in Jeff Davis County in Texas. In North America it extends southward from the United States into Mexico (Chihuahua, Sonora).
North America & US County Distribution Map for Jatropha macrorhiza.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 4 species of Jatropha, California, Nevada and Utah have 0 species, New Mexico has 1 species and Texas has 3 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There is 1 recognized variety in Jatropha macrorhiza;
Jatropha macrorhiza var. macrorhiza, Ragged Nettlespurge (AZ, NM, TX).
Jatropha macrorhiza var. septemfida, Ragged Nettlespurge (excluded).
Comments: Jatropha macrorhiza is a very dramatic looking plant with large bright green leaves and bright pink flowers followed by large bright green rounded fruit. As with many, if not most Euphorbiaceae this species is poisonous.
In Southwest Desert Flora also see Physicnut or Limberbush, Jatropha cuneata.