General: A small spreading tree
Leaves: The leaves are large, deeply cut (fingered or palmate)
Fruit: The fruits are fleshy.
General: A shrub or small tree of up to 5 m high.
Leaves: The heart-shaped leaves have long leaf-stalks.
Flowers: Small and yellow
Fruit: Egg-shaped, dark brown, splitting open to reveal 2 -3 black seeds.
• The seeds of Jatropha spp. contain curcin, a toxalbumin with an action similar to that of ricin.
• The leaves of Jatropha multifida are also rich in cyanogenic glycosides.
• It is suspected that ruminants that browse on the leaves can suffer from prussic acid poisoning.
Appear within hours after ingestion of the seed and include diarrhoea, dyspnoea, dehydration and loss of condition.
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG. Photo 1: 12.3 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 2: 13.8 kb, 96 ppi; Photo 3: 9.71 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 4: 18.4 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 5: 15.3 kb, 72 ppi. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.