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Croton

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.

Croton
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
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Croton

Previous taxon: Bernardia incana
Next taxon: Croton californicus

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Citation for this treatment: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster 2016. Croton, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9006, accessed on August 25, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on August 25, 2016.


Croton californicus
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Croton setiger
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Croton setiger
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Croton californicus
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Croton setiger
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Croton setiger
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson

More photos of Croton in CalPhotos