limberbush Euphorbiaceae Jatropha
cuneata Wiggins & Rollins symbol: JACU
Leaf: Alternate, simple, drought deciduous, oval to spatulate (leaves on rapidly growing shoots may become lobed), 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, thickened and fleshy, green to gray green; leaves appear along the twig on short side shoots.
Flower: Pale yellow, elongated bell shaped, 1/4 inch long, appearing after sufficient rainfall in small clusters at branch tips or on spur shoots.
Fruit: A three ridged, light brown 1/3 inch long capsule; thin husk splits to reveal a whitish inner seed.
Twig: Light brown, semi-succulent and very flexible; older stems with numerous short shoots. Sap in stems is blood red.
Bark: Light brown to reddish brown and stays quite smooth.
Form: A multi-stemmed shrub reaching up to 6 feet tall. Numerous stubby short shoots along stems.
Additional Range Information: Jatropha cuneata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting limberbush.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson