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Red-maroon Jatropha gossypifolia flower with a yellow center and stamens
jatropha gossypifolia
Jatropha gossypifolia

A medicinal shrub originating from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean islands. It's designated as a noxious weed in Puerto Rico and it has naturalized in northern Australia. Its young leaves are purple and sticky, maturing to a bright green color. The small red flowers, which possess yellow centers, bloom in clusters and are followed by cherry-sized seed pods. Once cultivated, it has the propensity to escape into wilder, central, and southern parts of Florida, spreading considerably due to its three-lobed capsular fruit that explosively releases seeds​. In some regions, it's recognized as invasive. Photographed in the department of Bolivar, Colombia.

Red Jatropha gossypifolia flowers and green fruit

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