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Vascular Plants of California
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Croton californicus


Higher Taxonomy
Family: EuphorbiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: SPURGE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub, tree [vine, cactus-like succulent]; monoecious or dioecious; sap clear or milky. Stem: generally branched [fleshy or spiny]. Leaf: generally simple, alternate to whorled, generally stipuled, sessile or petioled; blade entire, toothed, or lobed. Inflorescence: flowers solitary or in terminal or axillary cymes, racemes, spikes, or panicles, or (in Euphorbia) 1° inflorescence a compact, flower-like cyathium with much-reduced flowers enclosed within an involucre of fused bracts, cyathia terminal or axillary, 1 or in cyme-like arrays. Flower: unisexual, +- radial; sepals 0 or 2--6, free or fused; petals generally 0(5); stamens 1--many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers (1)3(4), styles free or fused, undivided, forked, or variously lobed. Fruit: generally capsule that splits into mericarps that then dehisce, releasing seeds. Seed: 1 per chamber; knob-like appendage sometimes present at attachment scar.
Genera In Family: 217 genera, 6000+ species: +- worldwide especially tropics; some cultivated (Aleurites, tung oil; Euphorbia species; Hevea, rubber; Ricinus). Toxicity: Many species +- highly TOXIC, due primarily to latex, especially if eaten or in contact with skin, eyes. Note: Eremocarpus moved to Croton, Tetracoccus moved to Picrodendraceae for TJM2; Chamaesyce moved to Euphorbia here (key to genera revised by Thomas J. Rosatti).
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CrotonView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Habit: Annual to shrub [tree]; sap clear or colored; monoecious or dioecious. Stem: spreading to erect. Leaf: cauline, alternate, entire in California; hairs generally stellate. Inflorescence: cyme, spike, or raceme, generally terminal. Staminate Flower: generally pedicelled; sepals generally 5; petals 5 or 0; stamens 8--50(300), filaments free, bent inward in bud; nectar disk generally divided. Pistillate Flower: pedicel short or 0, becoming longer in fruit; sepals generally 5, entire to lobed; petals generally 0; nectar disk entire; ovary 1--3-chambered, styles 2-lobed, +- dissected, or simple. Fruit: spheric or 3-lobed, smooth or tubercled. Seed: smooth to ribbed or pitted; scar appendaged.
Species In Genus: 1200--1300 species: tropics, warm temperate, worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: tick, for resemblance of seed)
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster
Reference: Berry et al. 2005 Amer J Bot 92:1520--1534
Croton californicus Müll. Arg.
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb to subshrub; < 1 m; dioecious; hairs stellate, scale-like. Leaf: petiole 1--4 cm; blade 2--5.5 cm, elliptic to narrowly oblong, tip rounded to obtuse. Inflorescence: raceme. Staminate Flower: pedicel 1--5.5(7) mm; petals 0; stamens 10--15. Pistillate Flower: pedicel <= 1 mm, 1--1.5(3) mm in fruit; sepals +- 2 mm; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, +- dissected. Seed: 3.5--5.5 mm, smooth.
Ecology: Sandy soils, dunes, washes; Elevation: < 900 m. Bioregional Distribution: Teh, SnJV, CCo, SCoR, SCo, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island), TR, PR, D; Distribution Outside California: Arizona, Baja California. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Synonyms: Croton californicus var. mohavensis A.M. Ferguson; Croton californicus var. tenuis (S. Watson) A.M. Ferguson
Jepson eFlora Author: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster
Reference: Berry et al. 2005 Amer J Bot 92:1520--1534
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Botanical illustration including Croton californicus

botanical illustration including Croton californicus

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Citation for this treatment: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster 2012, Croton californicus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=21120, accessed on October 15, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on October 15, 2019.

Croton californicus
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Croton californicus
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Croton californicus
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Croton californicus
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Croton californicus
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© 2013 Keir Morse
Croton californicus
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© 2016 Keir Morse

More photos of Croton californicus in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Croton californicus:
Teh, SnJV, CCo, SCoR, SCo, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island), TR, PR, D
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.