Herbs or shrubs, monoecious or rarely dioecious, strong-scented, stellate-pubescent, more or less glandular. Leaves mostly alternate, entire, toothed or lobed, sometimes with 2 glands at the base of the blade. Flowers in axillary or terminal clusters, often spicate or racemose. Staminate flowers uppermost; calyx 4-6-parted (usually 5-parted); petals usually present, but small or rudimentary, alternating with glands; stamens 5 or more, inflexed. Pistillate flowers clustered below the staminate; calyx 5-10-parted; petals usually wanting; ovary mostly 3-celled; ovule 1 in each cavity; styles once, twice or many times 2-cleft. Capsule splitting into 2-4 (usually 3) 2-valved carpels. Seeds 1 in each carpel, smooth, or minutely pitted. Embryo straight in the fleshy endosperm. [The Greek name of the Castor-oil plant.]

About 700 species, mostly of warm and tropical regions, a few in the temperate zones; some of high medicinal value. Type species: Croton Tigiium L.

Plants monoecious.

Leaves toothed; staminate calyx 4-lobed, pistillate 5-lobed.

1.

C. glandulosus.

Leaves entire; staminate calyx 3-5-lobed, pistillate 5-12-lobed.

Capsules clustered, erect, depressed-globose, 3" - 3 1/2' broad.

2.

C. capitalus.

Capsules mostly solitary, nodding, ovoid, or oblong-ovoid.

Plant silvery; capsules 2"-2 1/2" long.

3.

C. monanthogynus.

Plant whitish; capsules 3"-3 1/2" long.

4.

C. Lindheimcrianus.

Plant dioecious.

5.

C. texensis.

1. Croton Glandulosus L. Glandular Croton

Fig. 2713

Croton glandulosus L. Amoen. Acad. 5: 409. 1760.

Annual, monoecious, usually dark green, rough with stellate hairs, and somewhat glandular. Stem erect or assurgent, rather slender, 8'-2 1/2° high, corymbosely branched, or nearly simple; leaves oblong, linear-oblong or ovate, ¥-3' long, coarsely serrate, bearing 2 glands at the base of the blade; petiole shorter than the blade; flower-clusters terminal or axillary, the staminate in spikes, with a 4-parted calyx, 4 petals, a 4-rayed glandular disk and 8 stamens; pistillate flowers several at the base of the staminate, with 5 sepals, rudimentary petals, and 3 2-cleft styles; capsule subglobose, about 2 1/2" in length; seeds oblong, minutely wrinkled.

In sandy soil, Virginia to Indiana, Iowa and Kansas, south to Florida and Central America. Also in the West Indies and South America. Consists of many races, differing in shape of leaves, and in amount of pubescence. March-Dec.

1 Croton Glandulosus L Glandular Croton 1055