Coral Plant

Coral plant is a fast growing evergreen shrub or small tree with a single trunk, a loose, spreading crown and a typical height in cultivation of 6-10′. The distinctive 7 to 15 lobed, finely divided leaves grow up to 12″ wide and are reminiscent of Cannabis sativa leaves. They are dark green above and lighter beneath. The flowers are reminiscent of Precious coral or red coral and borne in flat-topped clusters on long stalks held above the foliage. Coral plant blooms on and off all year long, especially during hot weather.

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Coral Plant

Botanical Name:  Jatropha multifida

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Family:  Euphorbiaceae

Plant Type:  Evergreen shrub or small tree

CORAL PLANT’S LACY FOLIAGE AND EXOTIC FLOWERS MAKE IT A GREAT SPECIMEN OR ACCENT PLANT.

Origin: Mexico, Brazil, West Indies

Zones: 10-11 (min. 50 degrees F, leaf drop below 40 degrees F)

Height:  10 – 15′, spreading to 12′

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Any with good drainage

Water Requirements: Very drought tolerant, additional watering not needed once established

Nutritional Requirements: Fertilize twice yearly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Semi-succulent shrub

Leaves:  Dark green, finely divided-lobed, rounded to 12″ wide

Flowers: Numerous long stalked small red flowers on coral-like inflorescences

INFLORESCENCES OF JATROPA MULTIFIDIA ARE REMINISCENT OF PRECIOUS CORAL.

Fruits: Yellow, round, nut-like

Pests or diseases:  Aphids, mealy bugs, scale, rust and fungal leaf spot

Uses:  Specimen, accent, container plant. Flowers attractive to butterflies such as Zebra Longwing, Monarch, Gulf Fritillary and others.

Bad Habits: May be noxious or invasive, seeds sprout readily. Dropped leaves and fruit stain concrete. Milky sap stains clothes. Seeds are poisonous.

Cost:  $$  — reasonable

Propagation:   Seeds or cuttings

Bad Habits: Prune weak branches when required

Cost:  $$ — reasonable

Propagation:   Semi-ripe cuttings or air-layer in spring

Sources (“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”):  ORNAMENTAL TROPICAL SHRUBSAMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS

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