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  1. Family: Euphorbiaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Croton L.
      1. Croton megalobotrys Müll.Arg.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is SW. Tanzania to S. Africa.

    [FZ]

    Euphorbiaceae, A. Radcliffe-Smith. Flora Zambesiaca 9:4. 1996

    Habit
    A shrub or tree up to 14 m tall, sometimes sarmentose, often lax branched from the base, monoecious or sometimes dioecious; crown conical to rounded.
    Trunk
    Trunk up to 60 cm in diameter and 180 cm in circumference, angular.
    Bark
    Bark grey, longitudinally lenticellate, smooth at first later becoming fissured.
    Branches
    Branches drooping.
    Twigs
    Twigs grey-green, lenticellate.
    Stipules
    Stipules 3–7 mm long, linear-lanceolate, often 1–2-lobed near the base, subglabrous, soon falling.
    Petiole
    Petioles 2–7(11) cm long, densely stellate-pilose at first, soon glabrescent, with 2 stipitate discoid glands at the apex.
    Leaf lamina
    Leaf blades 3–19 × 2–13 cm, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, usually acutely caudate-acuminate at the apex, somewhat irregularly and coarsely crenate-serrate or dentate on the margins, cuneate to rounded or truncate to cordate at the base, membranous to thinly chartaceous, densely stellate-tomentose on both surfaces at first, later glabrescent above and cottony stellate-pilose beneath, slightly roughened, light or deep green; 3–7-nerved from the base, lateral nerves in 3–5 pairs, slightly prominent.
    Inflorescences
    Racemes terminal on the main axis or terminating short axillary or lateral shoots, the male racemes and the androgynous racemes 4.5–17 cm long, the female racemes 2–3 cm long; axes densely stellate-pilose at first, later sparingly so; bracts resembling the stipules, the male bracts several-flowered, the female bracts usually only 1-flowered.
    Male
    Male flowers: pedicels 3–7 mm long, slender; sepals 5, 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, suborbicular, subglabrous without, glabrous within, ciliate, pale green; petals 5, 4 × 1.5 mm, oblanceolate, subacute, pubescent at the apex, pale cream-yellow or whitish; disk glands free, truncate; stamens 15–20(25), filaments 3 mm long, glabrous, anthers 0.5 mm long; receptacle densely villous.
    Flowers
    Female flowers: pedicels 3–5 mm long, extending to up to 10 mm in fruit, stout; sepals 5, larger than in the male flowers and ovate, but otherwise similar; petals absent; disk shallowly 5-lobed, crenulate; ovary 3 mm in diameter, globose, densely stellate-tomentose; styles 3, 3 mm long, 4-partite, inflexed, glabrous, buff-orange, persistent. Male flowers: pedicels 3–7 mm long, slender; sepals 5, 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, suborbicular, subglabrous without, glabrous within, ciliate, pale green; petals 5, 4 × 1.5 mm, oblanceolate, subacute, pubescent at the apex, pale cream-yellow or whitish; disk glands free, truncate; stamens 15–20(25), filaments 3 mm long, glabrous, anthers 0.5 mm long; receptacle densely villous.
    Female
    Female flowers: pedicels 3–5 mm long, extending to up to 10 mm in fruit, stout; sepals 5, larger than in the male flowers and ovate, but otherwise similar; petals absent; disk shallowly 5-lobed, crenulate; ovary 3 mm in diameter, globose, densely stellate-tomentose; styles 3, 3 mm long, 4-partite, inflexed, glabrous, buff-orange, persistent.
    Fruits
    Fruits 2–3.5 × 2.2–3.5 cm when dry, up to 4 × 3.8 cm when fresh, trilobate-subglobose, often bilobate or ovoid-ellipsoid by abortion, indehiscent, softly stellate-tomentose at first, later glabrescent, bright green at first, later becoming orange to golden-brown.
    Seeds
    Seeds 1.7–2 × 1.5–1.8 × 0.9–1.2 cm, broadly compressed-ovoid, subtruncate, dark purplish-brown, dull, ecarunculate.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Botswana, Caprivi Strip, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Northern Provinces, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Synonyms

    Common Names

    English
    Fever-berry croton, Large fever-berry, River fever-berry

    Other Data

    Croton megalobotrys Müll.Arg. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1994 Cole, D.T. [979], Botswana K000511194
    Robson, N.K. [932], Zambia 22004.000
    Jackson, G. [1394], Malawi K000048557
    Scott Elliot, G.F. [2805], Malawi K000048554
    unknown [598] K000347475
    Chapman, J.D. [6030], Malawi K000048559
    Greenway, P. [6385], Malawi K000048556
    Miller, O.B. [268], Botswana K000511195
    Miller, O.B. [65], Botswana K000511196
    Long, D.G. [420], Botswana K000511192
    Lugard, E.J. [17], Botswana K000511197
    Purves, J.M. [182], Malawi K000048555
    Swynnerton [153], Mozambique K000347473 Unknown type material
    Swynnerton [1123], Mozambique K000347474 Unknown type material
    Salubeni, A.J. [1168], Malawi K000048558
    Biegel, H. [4021], Botswana K000511191
    Beer, J.S. de [537], Botswana K000511198
    Sydes, C. [6], Botswana K000511193
    McCabe, J. [17], Botswana K000347476
    McCabe, J. [39], Botswana K000347477 Unknown type material

    Bibliography

    First published in Flora 47: 537 (1864)

    Accepted by

    • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
    • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A. (2000). World Checklist and Bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (and Pandaceae) 1-4: 1-1622. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Curtis, B. & Mannheimer, C. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia: 1-688. The National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek.

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Plants and People Africa
    Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/