Euphorbiaceae Juss.: Jatropha L.

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Pankaj Kumar

Feb 19, 2011, 4:26:45 PM2/19/11
to indiantreepix
Jatropha, a member of family, Euphorbiaceae [subfamily: Crotonideae;
tribe: Jatropheae] is a genus of around 75 species. The name is
derived from the Greek iatrós (doctor) and trophé (food), referring to
its nutritious qualities (when consumed in small amounts).

In 2007 Goldman Sachs cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best
candidates for future biodiesel production. It is resistant to drought
and pests, and produces seeds containing 27-40% oil, averaging 34.4%.
The remaining press cake of jatropha seeds after oil extraction could
also be considered for energy production. However, despite their
abundance and use as oil and reclamation plants, none of the Jatropha
species have been properly domesticated and, as a result, their
productivity is variable, and the long-term impact of their
large-scale use on soil quality and the environment is unknown.
Igbinosa and colleagues (2009) demonstrated potential broad spectrum
antimicrobial activity of J. curcas. [source: Wikipedia]

Much like other members of the family Euphorbiaceae, Jatropha plants
contain several toxic compounds, including lectin, saponin,
carcinogenic phorbol, and a trypsin inhibitor. The seeds of this genus
are also a source of the highly poisonous toxalbumin curcin. Despite
this, the seeds are occasionally eaten after roasting, which reduces
some of the toxicity. Its sap is a skin irritant, and ingesting as few
as three untreated seeds can be fatal to humans. [source: Wikipedia]


Pankaj Kumar Ph.D. (Orchidaceae)
Research Associate
Greater Kailash Sacred Landscape Project
Department of Habitat Ecology
Wildlife Institute of India
Post Box # 18
Dehradun - 248001, India


Feb 20, 2011, 7:32:46 AM2/20/11
to efloraofindia
Thanks for updating on Jatropha .The info is very useful.
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