Sunday, May 19, 2013
One of the 170 Species Called Jatropha Plants is on Okinawa (Photos)
It's always a pleasure to give readers some interesting facts about plants and flowers.
So, I go to great lengths researching any new ones I capture with the camera.
Here are a few photos of Jatropha hastata found in the 21 Century Forest Park.
That's in Nago City, Okinawa, Japan, and the plants were photographed on Mar 11, 2013.
Shooting these bright red, star-shaped flowers on a cloudy day was a blast.
It's always a good idea, when you spot a new flower, to shoot plenty of photos for identification.
Sometimes, the bark of the tree or, the shape of the leaves is more important than the flower.
Getting a positive ID can be a real time-consumer and drive the average guy absolutely nuts!
This time, once I got my hands on the right book, it was a breeze.
Sub-tropical Flowers in Okinawa ISBN4-9901917-3-0 gave me the answer: Jatropha hastata.
Then, the University of Florida Okeechobee County Extension Service gave me this link.
Do not eat the seeds, they are very toxic!
Other than that, the plants are great for adding color to your landscape and attract butterflies.
Along came another interesting article from the University of Florida.
This time from IFAS Research the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
The oil that comes from the Jatropha seeds can run a diesel engine.
No wonder ya ain't supposed to eat them!
So, the research had to go on a bit further, to find out more about this mysterious plant.
A person could invest in Jatropha cultivation or make biodiesel and even, jet fuels.
Here's an official Jatropha Tree Site