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Origin & Ecology

The plant which is native to Mexico and South America was introduced into Africa in the 1500’s by the Portuguese sailors and found growing sparsely in Nigeria and /or used as hedge plant. Apart from University of Ilorin Jatropha plantation there is no record of its plantation in Nigeria.

The plant would survive on any undulating soil (stony, gravel, sandy, saline or even crevice of rocks). It grows in both tropical and sub-tropical conditions and even likes heat. It can tolerate low temperature and light frost. The plant requires less water and can withstand drought condition. It needs a mean rainfall of between 300 and 1000mm and a mean temperature of 20-28oC .