Croton alabamensis E.A. Smith - Alabama Croton

Croton alabamensis plant

Family - Euphorbiaceae

Stems:

Croton alabamensis barkBark of mature shrub.

Leaves:

Croton alabamensis leafAdaxial surface of leaf.

Croton alabamensis leafAbaxial surface of leaf.

Inflorescence:

Croton alabamensis inflorescenceStaminate inflorescence.

Flowers:

Croton alabamensis pistillate flowerPistillate flower.

Croton alabamensis staminate flowersStaminate flower...

Croton alabamensis staminate flowers...side view.

Flowering - February - April.

Habitat - Thin soils of river bluffs of shale and limestone.

Origin - Native to North America (endemic to Alabama).

Other information - This shrubby endemic species can be found growing wild in just a few Alabama counties. The plant can reach a height +3m and typically has many stems from the base. This is an easy species to identify becasue of its lepidote scale-covered leaves and flowers. Staminate and pistillate flowers are produced on different plants.
The genus name Croton is the Greek word for the Castor Oil Plant (genus Ricinus) which is in the same family as this plant. The name means "a tick" referring to the seeds of the plant which resemble ticks.

Alabama Distribution:

Croton alabamensis map

Photographs taken at Bibb County Glades, 3-5-05.


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