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  1. Family: Euphorbiaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Croton L.
      1. Croton megalocarpus Hutch.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Somalia to S. Tropical Africa.

    [FTEA]

    Euphorbiaceae, A. R.-Smith. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1987

    Habit
    A large monoecious or occasionally dioecious tree up to 35 m. tall, though commonly 15–25 m., with a clear bole up to 20 m. high and 1 m. diameter and a spreading crown; bark pale grey-brown, closely longitudinally fissured.
    Twigs
    Young twigs densely fulvous lepidote to fulvous or ferruginous stellate-lepidote. Older twigs greyish brown, tardily glabrescent.
    Leaves
    Petioles 2–8(–11) cm. long, densely fulvous lepidote to fulvous or ferruginous stellate-lepidote; leaf-blade ovate, elliptic-ovate, elliptic-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, (4–)7–14(–19) cm. long, (1.5–)3–7(–11) cm. wide, shortly and acutely or subacutely acuminate, cuneate-rounded, rounded or shallowly cordate, with 2(–4) sessile or stalked basal glands visible or not from above, entire, firmly chartaceous to subcoriaceous, lateral nerves 15–25 pairs, not or slightly impressed above, slightly prominent beneath, midrib impressed above, prominent beneath, evenly minutely stellate-puberulous and medium to dark green above, densely silvery lepidote or rarely stellate-lepidote and brown flecked beneath, the scales fimbriate.
    Stipules
    Stipules linear-filiform, sometimes somewhat laciniate towards the base, 5–10 mm. long., sparingly scurfily stellate-lepidote, subpersistent.
    Inflorescences
    Racemes terminal, 7.5–30 cm. long, all ♂ or with a few ♀ flowers at the base, axis angular, densely fulvous lepidote to fulvous or ferruginous stellate-lepidote; bracts linear-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 2–4.5 mm. long, densely stellate-lepidote, soon caducous.
    Male
    Male flowers:pedicels 7–15 mm. long, densely silvery lepidote, often brown flecked; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes triangular-ovate, 4.5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, subacutely acuminate, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked without, densely pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin at the apex, greenish yellow; petals 5, obovate, 5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, densely silvery lepidote and sparingly light-brown flecked without, pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin, pale straw-yellow; disc-glands ± free, truncate; stamens 25–30(–40), filaments 5–7(–8) mm. long, glabrous above, sparingly pilose below, anthers 1.5–2 mm. long; receptacle pubescent.
    Flowers
    Female flowers:pedicels 4–12 mm. long, up to 2 cm. long in fruit, stouter than in the ♂; calyx-lobes 3.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, otherwise as in the ♂; petals 5, linear, 5 mm. long, 0.5 mm. wide, lepidote without in the lower part, otherwise subglabrous, pubescent within and villous on the margin; disc shallowly 5-lobed or ± annular; ovary subglobose-subtrilobed, 4 mm. diameter, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked; styles 3, spreading, 1.5 mm. long, subglabrous above, densely stellate-lepidote beneath, shortly bipartite, the segments 2–4-lobulate. Male flowers:pedicels 7–15 mm. long, densely silvery lepidote, often brown flecked; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes triangular-ovate, 4.5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, subacutely acuminate, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked without, densely pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin at the apex, greenish yellow; petals 5, obovate, 5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, densely silvery lepidote and sparingly light-brown flecked without, pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin, pale straw-yellow; disc-glands ± free, truncate; stamens 25–30(–40), filaments 5–7(–8) mm. long, glabrous above, sparingly pilose below, anthers 1.5–2 mm. long; receptacle pubescent.
    Female
    Female flowers:pedicels 4–12 mm. long, up to 2 cm. long in fruit, stouter than in the ♂; calyx-lobes 3.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, otherwise as in the ♂; petals 5, linear, 5 mm. long, 0.5 mm. wide, lepidote without in the lower part, otherwise subglabrous, pubescent within and villous on the margin; disc shallowly 5-lobed or ± annular; ovary subglobose-subtrilobed, 4 mm. diameter, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked; styles 3, spreading, 1.5 mm. long, subglabrous above, densely stellate-lepidote beneath, shortly bipartite, the segments 2–4-lobulate.
    Fruits
    Fruit ellipsoid-ovoid to subglobose, not lobed, 3–4.5 cm. long, 2.5–3(–4) cm. diameter, loculicidal from the apex, lepidote; endocarp woody, 3–5.5 mm. thick, with three double rows of pits outside corresponding to the septa.
    Seeds
    Seeds ellipsoid-ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, (1.8–)2.2–2.4 cm. long, 1.2–1.4 cm. wide, somewhat ridged and rugulose, white when fresh, grey-brown when dry, with a minute caruncle.
    Habitat
    Evergreen forest; (700–)1200–2400 m.
    Distribution
    K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T6 T8 U2 U4
    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    A large tree up to 30 m tall with a spreading crown, monoecious or dioecious.
    Bark
    Bark and twigs pale grey or brown.
    Indumentum
    Young growth silvery-lepidote or rusty stellate-pubescent.
    Stipules
    Stipules 7–10 mm long, filiform.
    Petiole
    Petioles 1.5–11 cm long.
    Leaf lamina
    Leaf blades 4–16 × 1.5–8 cm, elliptic-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, shortly acuminate, entire or almost so at the apex, cordulate at the base usually with 2(4) sessile or shortly stipitate basal glands on the under surface or near the petiole apex, chartaceous, evenly minutely stellate-pubescent and bright green on the upper surface, silvery-lepidote and brown-flecked beneath; lateral nerves in 10–21 pairs, not or slightly impressed above, prominent beneath.
    Inflorescences
    Racemes 2.5–16(30) cm long, terminal, all male or with a few female flowers at the base; axis angular, rusty-lepidote; bracts 1–2 mm long, subulate, soon falling.
    Male
    Male flowers: pedicels 3–10 mm long; buds 4–5 mm in diameter, globose, rusty-lepidote; sepals 5, c. 4 × 2.5 mm, ovate, rusty-lepidote without, sericeous-pubescent within, greenish-yellow; petals 5, 4.5 × 3 mm, obovate, lepidote without, pubescent within, ciliate, pale yellow; disk glands 5(6), free, truncate; stamens c. 30, filaments 5–7 mm long, glabrous above, pilose below, anthers c. 1 mm long; receptacle pubescent.
    Flowers
    Female flowers: pedicels 4–10 mm long, extending to 2 cm in fruit, stouter than in the male; sepals somewhat smaller than in the male flowers, but otherwise similar; petals 5, 5 × 0.5 mm, linear, lepidote without at the base, pubescent within, ciliate; disk shallowly 5-lobed; ovary 3 mm in diameter, subtrilobate-subglobose, densely lepidote; styles 3, 1.5 mm long, spreading, 2-partite, the segments 2–4-lobulate, lepidote beneath, otherwise subglabrous. Male flowers: pedicels 3–10 mm long; buds 4–5 mm in diameter, globose, rusty-lepidote; sepals 5, c. 4 × 2.5 mm, ovate, rusty-lepidote without, sericeous-pubescent within, greenish-yellow; petals 5, 4.5 × 3 mm, obovate, lepidote without, pubescent within, ciliate, pale yellow; disk glands 5(6), free, truncate; stamens c. 30, filaments 5–7 mm long, glabrous above, pilose below, anthers c. 1 mm long; receptacle pubescent.
    Female
    Female flowers: pedicels 4–10 mm long, extending to 2 cm in fruit, stouter than in the male; sepals somewhat smaller than in the male flowers, but otherwise similar; petals 5, 5 × 0.5 mm, linear, lepidote without at the base, pubescent within, ciliate; disk shallowly 5-lobed; ovary 3 mm in diameter, subtrilobate-subglobose, densely lepidote; styles 3, 1.5 mm long, spreading, 2-partite, the segments 2–4-lobulate, lepidote beneath, otherwise subglabrous.
    Fruits
    Fruits (1.5)3–4.5 × (1.5)2.5–3(4) cm, ellipsoid-ovoid to subglobose, loculicidal, creamy-lepidote; endocarp woody, pitted.
    Seeds
    Seeds 2 × 1 × 0.7 cm, ellipsoid, shallowly rugulose, slightly shiny, yellowish-grey; caruncle minute.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Croton megalocarpus Hutch. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 1, 1956 Elliott, C.F. [51], Kenya K000347459 Unknown type material
    Willan, R.W. [264], Tanzania 15726.000

    Bibliography

    First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 6(1): 760 (1912)

    Accepted by

    • Bamps, P. (2009). Croton gratissimus (Euphorbiaceae), nouveau pour la flore du Congo-Kinshasa Systematics and Geography of Plants 79: 248-250.
    • Calane da Silva, M., Izdine, S. & Amuse, A.B. (2004). A Preliminary Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Mozambique: 1-184. SABONET, Pretoria.
    • 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

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Troupin, Fl. Rwanda 2: 217, t. 65/1 (1983).
    • Troupin, Fl. Pl. Lign. Rwanda: 257, t. 88.1 (1982)
    • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 196 (1962).
    • J. Léon. in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 8(1): 54 (1962).
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 191 (1961).
    • W.J. Eggeling, Indigenous Trees of the Uganda Protectorate, ed. 2, 122 (1952).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 204 (1949).
    • Robyns, Flore des Spermatophytes du Parc National Albert 1: 449 (1948).
    • Battiscombe & Dale, Trees and Shrubs of Kenya Colony p. 50 (1936).
    • A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3(2): 47 (1921).
    • Hutch. in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 760 (1912).

    Sources

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

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    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