Jatropha podagrica is native in South-America where it can grow into a large flowering shrub. It is now found in Africa and Asia as well, because this plant is propagated in nurseries and due to the springing of the seed when ripe the plant has escaped from the nurseries into the wild where it can establish itself. Due to the poisonous nature of the sap, there are few creatures that will attack it. Jatrophas belong to the Euphorbiaceae which can be seen by the seedpod that is divided into three sections, each containing one seed.
It is a plant that requires warmth; it will die if the temperature drops to 5°C for a prolonged period. The ideal temperature is at least 15°C. The plant is very easy to cultivate as long as the temperature is high enough, not requiring a specific type of soil; it can be grown in the full sun or above the central heating with little water. It can remain in this position all the year round, not requiring a colder period in winter. There is now a yellow form available besides the more usual orange. The yellow one will now come back true from seed which it did not do until a few years ago. If you cross the yellow with the orange, however, the orange will dominate and you could lose the yellow altogether.

Jatropha podagrica orange

Jatropha podagrica orange

Jatropha podagrica yellow

Jatropha podagrica yellow

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Talinums are generally considered weeds; they produce seed very easily and in abundance and do not have to be cross-pollinated. This Talinum species, however, is an exception, because it does need to be cross-pollinated in order to produce seed. It is a caudex plant which comes from Guadaloupe, an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea.
This plant is rare in cultivation; it requires plenty of sun to produce a nice compact plant. Without flowers it could easily be mistaken for an Echiverea.

Talinum guadelupense


Talinum guadelupense

All Uncarinas originate from Madagascar. There are about 15 species and all species are in cultivation. There are three flower colours to be found: red, white and yellow. The latter is the most common. Only one species has a true caudex, Uncarina roeoesliana. It is also the easiest one to flower; it can already flowers when still small. The rarest is Uncarina leptocarpa, the only white-flowering species.
One reason that Uncarinas are not common in cultivation is that the seed does not germinate easily. Why this is, we do not know. Propagation by cuttings is not a substitute because they do not root easily either. In short: a difficult sort to propagate.
But, once you have managed to get yourself one, it is relatively easy to grow. It needs plenty of warmth and plenty of water in the growing season, but keep it dry in the winter. In the wild they can grow up to four metres, but do not expect that in your greenhouse or window sill.

Uncarina species