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Limberbush, Sangre-De-Cristo

Jatropha cardiophylla

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Succulent, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun
Pollinators Bees, and ants are known pollinators of some Jatrophas
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
3-6' × 3-6'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season July-August
Flower Color White
Minimum Temperature Range 20-25 °F
Leaf Description Heart shaped, rounded to elongated, shiny surfaces.
Fruit Beaked, balloon-like pods with a single seed inside
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Elevation Range 2000-3000 ft.
Ethnobotany Roots have been used as a source of dye. pliable stems were used by the O'odham and others as a basketry material .
Description An unusual drought-loving shrub which can be found on gravelly/rocky slopes and along sandy wash margins. Easy to miss in the wild, because, for much of the season this plant gets by as just a number of leafless, reddish brown stems rising from among the rocks. But as hints of the monsoon season appear in the form of higher humidity, these plants produce lush, shiny heart shaped leaves (hence the species epithet CARDIOphylla). Fairly sensitive to cold, this plant is best suited for desert gardens, however, this species can be grown as a protected potted specimen elsewhere in the state. As in habitat, these plants thrive in well draining, loose soils. A good planting could be made by mixing Limberbush with foothills Palo Verde (Parkinsonia microphylla), fishhook barrel cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni), ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), and narrowleaf wolfberry (Lycium berlandieri). The exuberant display of leathery foliage, small white flowers, and sack like seed pods serve as a welcome display in the midst of summer heat.