The synonymous names of Jatropha curcas are Curcas purgans, Ricinus americanus,
Castiglionia lobata, Jatropha edulis, Curcas adansoni, Curcas indica and Curcas curcas etc. It
is native in tropical America, but is now found abundantly in many tropical and subtropical
regions throughout Africa and Asia. Jatropha curcas was most likely distributed by Portuguese
ships via the Cape Verde Islands and Guinea Bissau to other countries in Africa and Asia. The
Physic nut (Jatropha curcas) is widely cultivated in the tropics as a living fence. Many parts of
the plants are used in traditional medicine. The seeds are toxic to humans and many animals.
The Jatropha is widely cultivated in the world but there are risks involved as the species is still
wild even though it has been cultivated since centuries as a fence crop. The type of variation
within the species and among the land races is yet to be explored. The general aim of the
present study is to evaluate five land races of Jatropha curcas from three countries viz Tanzania,
Ethiopia and India.