Australian Bottle Plant
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Australian Bottle Plant
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Australian bottle plant, Physic nut, Buddha belly plant
Botanical name: Jatropha podagrica      Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)

As its various common names suggest, Australian bottle plant has a bottle or belly shaped trunk with clusters of tiny, coral-like flowers on long stems and large, lobed leaves, all of which makes for a rare and unusual looking plant. It flowers throughout most of the year and is sun and drought tolerant. A native of tropical America, it is a very attractive plant. The leaves are large, lobed, peltate and somewhat succulent. The flowers grow on long stems and are a brilliant red color, and stand out from the foliage, despite being relatively small. The trunk forms a nice ball shaped caudex, and has strange thorny looking knobs. It is called 'Buddha Belly Plant' because keeping the foilage pruned enlarges the trunk.

Identification credit: R.K. Nimai Singh Photographed in Delhi & Mumbai.

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