This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Of the many who have heard of croton oil, few know what an important feature Crotons play among the vegetation of the earth. The number of species known is enormous, and they are found in wet or dry places in many parts of the world. There are a number native to the United States, chiefly in the south and southwest, but these have nothing particular to attract the observer beyond a silvery class of foliage which, however, many other kinds of plants in these regions have as well as they. Prom other parts of the world we have a very distinct class of Crotons, taking the forms of shrubs or even small trees, with no more ornamental flowers than our own, but with large, shining and rather thick leaves, more like those of a Rhododendron, than of the Crotons which American botanists collect. These are often of the most curious forms, and frequently veined or blotched with crimson or gold, and are among the most interesting objects in modern greenhouses. Besides their value for this sort of culture, they do well in windows and are becoming quite popular in room gardening. Of late years they have been taken in hand by the improvers, as so many classes of plants have, and some remarkably beautiful forms have been obtained, and which are now much sought after by florists.
We give with this, one introduced by the celebrated firm of James Veitch & Sons, of Chelsea, near London, who have been among the foremost in making the public aware of fche beauty'this class of plants affords.