Preliminary field evaluation of jatropha (Jatropha curcas L.) under South Florida environmental Conditions

Jonathan H. Crane, Wagner A. Vendrame, Wanda Montas, Ania Pinares, Edward A. Evans

Abstract


Seventeen jatropha selections were planted 25 June 2009 at the Tropical Research and Education Center to evaluate their growth, development, and adaptation to a warm subtropical climate and calcareous soil conditions. Plants were grown from seed and 1 to 12 plants were planted per accession. Trunk diameter and plant height, and number of seeds and dry weight of seeds produced were periodically recorded. The mean percent change in plant height over the first 8 months ranged from 46% (Brazil-KB) to 86% (India). The mean percent change in trunk diameter was from 6% (Brazil-Plain) to 45% (Guatemala). Fruit were first harvested about 5½ months after planting. The mean number of fruits produced per plant varied by accession, with Ethiopia producing the least (0.3 fruits/plant) and Brazil-Plain producing the most (43 fruits/plant). Mean dry weight of harvested seed varied, with Ethiopia producing the least (0.6 g seed/plant) and India the most (94.3 g seed/plant).

Keywords


Jatropha curcas, freeze protection, physic nut

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283