Botanical name: Jatropha tanjorensis Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Tanjore Jatropha is a shrub up to 3 m tall with leaves alternate, shortly 5-lobed, 7.5-11 x 6.5-10 cm, thinly velvet-hairy along nerves. Leaf base is nearly heart-shaped, margin sawtoothed, serratures gland-tipped, tip pointed; leaf-stalk 6-10 cm; stipules fringed with hairs, glandular. Flowers are borne in cymes about 9 cm wide; bracts lanceshaped, 1 x 0.3 cm, or smaller in successive forkings; flower-stalk to 3 mm. Flowers are polygamous; bisexual flowers 9 mm across; male ones smaller, generally opening after bisexual flowers. Outer tepals pinkish-green, unequal, lanceshaped, 5-7 mm, sawtoothed, glandular, hairy, tapering; inner ones greenish yellow in bisexual flowers, pinkish in male, obovate, 5-7 mm, hairy within at base, decurrent, blunt. Stamens 8, free; filaments 3 mm; anthers 1 mm, bearded. Ovary 2.5 x 2 mm; styles 2 mm long. Tanjore Jatropha is found in Peninsular India and Africa. Flowering: November-December.
Medicinal uses: IN Africa, Tanjore Jatropha is commonly called “Hospital too far”, “Catholic vegetable”, “Iyana-ipaja”, “Lapalapa”. Its primary use is for fencing while its secondary uses are as a source of edible leafy vegetables and medicine. It is useful in herbal medicine, prepared locally in most parts of Southern Nigeria by collecting the leaves and squeezing out the juice.
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The flower labeled Tanjore Jatropha is ...