Croton glandulosus L.

Croton glandulosus plant

Family - Euphorbiaceae

Stems - Herbaceous, erect, single from the base, from a taproot, branching in apical 1/2, stellate pubescent, to +/-30cm tall.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate. Stipules green, needlelike, fugacious, to 1.3mm long, possibly tipped by a small gland. Petioles stellate pubescent, with a shallow adaxial groove, to 2cm long. Blades to 5cm long, 2.5cm broad, lanceolate to lance-ovate, stellate pubescent (much more so abaxially), dull green adaxially, light green abaxially, serrate, blunt at the apex.

Croton glandulosus leavesPressed leaves.

Croton glandulosus glandsArrows show glands at the base of the leaf blade.

Inflorescence - Terminal, compact, androgynous racemes to 1.5cm tall(long). Peduncle densely stellate pubescent. Satminate flowers - Pedicel stellate pubescent, 1.2mm long, each flower subtended by a small needlelike bract. Bracts to 1mm long. Numerous glands present at the base of each pedicel. Pistillate flowers - Pedicel to .1 or .2mm long.

Croton glandulosus inflorescenceInflorescence.

Flowers - Staminate flowers - Petals 5, all white, stellate pubescent, slightly exceeding the sepals, oblong-lanceolate. Stamens 10. Filaments white, glabrous, to 1.5mm long. Anthers pale yellow, .4mm broad. Sepals 5, ovate, to 1.2mm long, white, stellate pubescent. Pistillate flowers - Sepals 5, greenish, stellate pubescent externally (branches of the pubescence long and thin), glabrous internally, +/-2mm long in flower, accrescent, oblanceolate to spatulate. Ovary stellate pubescent, green, superior, 1mm long in flower, 3-locular (one seed per locule). Placentation axile. Styles 3, divided nearly to the base and appearing as 6, white, papillate, 2.2mm long.

Croton glandulosus flowersStaminate flowers.

Croton glandulosus stylesArrow shows styles.

Croton glandulosus capsuleDeveloping capsule.

Flowering - July - October.

Habitat - Prairies, open woods, waste ground, pastures, glades, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species is found throughout most of Missouri but seems to be absent from the north-central portion of the state. This species is easy to ID because of its toothed leaves. No other wild species of Croton in Missouri has toothed leaves. The species epithet comes from the fact that the leaves typically have two glands at the base of each leaf blade.

Photographs taken at the Current River Conservation Area, Reynolds County, MO., 8-10-01, and in Daytona Beach, FL., 7-1-02.