Skip to main content
  1. Family: Euphorbiaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Croton L.
      1. Croton pseudopulchellus Pax

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

    [FWTA]

    Euphorbiaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

    Habit
    Shrub, to 12 ft. high.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    A monoecious or occasionally dioecious shrub or small tree 2–4(–6) m. tall.
    Twigs
    Older twigs pale grey or greyish brown, tardily glabrescent. Young twigs densely silvery lepidote and flecked with brown, or uniformly reddish-brown lepidote, the scales ± entire or only shortly fringed.
    Leaves
    Leaves fragrant, subverticillate, usually at the tips of the twigs; petioles 0.3–1(–1.8) cm. long, brown lepidote; blade elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, (1–)3–9.5 cm. long, (0.5–)1–2.5(–3.3) cm. wide, obtuse or emarginate at the apex, cuneate or rounded-cuneate at the base, with 2 minute sessile discoid basal glands not or scarcely visible from above and more or less obscured by the scales beneath, entire, firmly chartaceous to somewhat coriaceous, lateral nerves 10–15 pairs, delicate, slightly prominent above, invisible beneath, midrib deeply impressed above, prominent beneath, glabrous, dark green and shiny above, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked beneath, the scales minutely denticulate and very closely adpressed.
    Stipules
    Stipules minute, completely obscured by the scales.
    Buds
    Axillary buds not perulate.
    Inflorescences
    Racemes terminal, 1 cm. long, much abbreviated so that the flowers appear to be in globular clusters, usually with the lower third ♀, the upper two-thirds ♂, axis brown lepidote; bracts 1 mm. long, squamiform.
    Male
    Male flowers:pedicels 2–3 mm. long in bud, extending to 5–6 mm. in open flower, densely silvery lepidote; sepals 5, ovate, 2.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, obtuse, densely silvery to brownish lepidote without, sparingly puberulous and pale green within, ciliate on the margin; petals 5, elliptic-oblong, 3 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide, glabrous on surfaces, villous on the margin, white; disc-glands free, truncate; stamens 16, filaments 3 mm. long, glabrous above, pilose below, white, anthers 1 mm. long; receptacle pubescent.
    Flowers
    Female flowers:pedicels 2 mm. long, not elongating in fruit, densely silvery lepidote; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes ± subacute, otherwise resembling the ♂ sepals; petals as in the ♂, or sometimes 0; disc-glands ± as in ♂; ovary subglobose, 2 mm. diameter, densely brownish lepidote; styles 3, spreading, 1.5 mm. long, glabrous, bipartite, the lobes linear-subulate. Male flowers:pedicels 2–3 mm. long in bud, extending to 5–6 mm. in open flower, densely silvery lepidote; sepals 5, ovate, 2.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, obtuse, densely silvery to brownish lepidote without, sparingly puberulous and pale green within, ciliate on the margin; petals 5, elliptic-oblong, 3 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide, glabrous on surfaces, villous on the margin, white; disc-glands free, truncate; stamens 16, filaments 3 mm. long, glabrous above, pilose below, white, anthers 1 mm. long; receptacle pubescent.
    Female
    Female flowers:pedicels 2 mm. long, not elongating in fruit, densely silvery lepidote; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes ± subacute, otherwise resembling the ♂ sepals; petals as in the ♂, or sometimes 0; disc-glands ± as in ♂; ovary subglobose, 2 mm. diameter, densely brownish lepidote; styles 3, spreading, 1.5 mm. long, glabrous, bipartite, the lobes linear-subulate.
    Fruits
    Fruit subglobose-subtrilobed, 6 mm. long, 6 mm. diameter, septicidal, densely silvery-green lepi-dote, flecked with golden-brown.
    Seeds
    Seeds ellipsoid, 5 mm. long, 3 mm. wide, dark brown to blackish, shiny, with a creamy-white hemispherical caruncle 1.5 mm. wide.
    Habitat
    Dry evergreen forest, deciduous woodland, bushland and thicket, sometimes abundant in secondary regrowth; 0–1000(–1800) m.
    Distribution
    K1 K6 K7 T3 T6 Z
    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    A much-branched shrub, or small tree up to 5 m tall, monoecious or dioecious.
    Bark
    Bark smooth, brownish-grey, later becoming roughened.
    Wood
    Wood hard.
    Twigs
    Young twigs densely silvery-lepidote and rusty-flecked.
    Stipules
    Stipules minute, obscured by the scales.
    Petiole
    Petioles 0.1–2(4) cm long.
    Leaves
    Leaves aromatic when crushed, whorled or subopposite; blades 1–8 × 0.5–4 cm, suborbicular-elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, obtusely acuminate to emarginate at the apex, entire, cuneate to rounded at the base, with a pair of minute sessile discoid basal glands on the under surface often obscured by scales, firmly chartaceous, glabrous or minutely stellate-pubescent and bright or dark green on upper surface, densely silvery-lepidote and rusty-flecked beneath; midrib often impressed above, prominent beneath, lateral nerves in 4–10 pairs, not or scarcely prominent above, invisible beneath.
    Inflorescences
    Racemes 0.5–2 cm long, abbreviated and often apparently umbellate, terminal, androgynous, all male or all female; bracts minute, scale-like.
    Male
    Male flowers: pedicels 1–2 mm long in bud, 3–4 mm long in flower; sepals 5, 2.5 × 1.5 mm, triangular-ovate, densely silvery- or rusty-lepidote without, sparingly pubescent to subglabrous within; petals 5, 2 × 0.5 mm, elliptic-oblong to linear, glabrous without, pubescent within, ciliate, pale yellowish-cream or whitish; disk glands 5, truncate, thin, glabrous; stamens 16, filaments 3–4 mm long, glabrous above, pubescent below, white, anthers 1 mm long with a broad connective, yellow; receptacle pubescent.
    Flowers
    Female flowers: pedicels 2–2.5 mm long, stouter than in the male, densely lepidote; sepals 5, 3 × 2 mm, ovate, otherwise as in the male; petals as in the male; disk 5-lobed, the lobes truncate, glabrous; ovary 2.5 mm in diameter, globose, densely brown-lepidote; styles 3, 2 mm long, spreading, bicrurate (very deeply bipartite, almost bisected), the segments erect, linear-filiform, glabrous. Male flowers: pedicels 1–2 mm long in bud, 3–4 mm long in flower; sepals 5, 2.5 × 1.5 mm, triangular-ovate, densely silvery- or rusty-lepidote without, sparingly pubescent to subglabrous within; petals 5, 2 × 0.5 mm, elliptic-oblong to linear, glabrous without, pubescent within, ciliate, pale yellowish-cream or whitish; disk glands 5, truncate, thin, glabrous; stamens 16, filaments 3–4 mm long, glabrous above, pubescent below, white, anthers 1 mm long with a broad connective, yellow; receptacle pubescent.
    Female
    Female flowers: pedicels 2–2.5 mm long, stouter than in the male, densely lepidote; sepals 5, 3 × 2 mm, ovate, otherwise as in the male; petals as in the male; disk 5-lobed, the lobes truncate, glabrous; ovary 2.5 mm in diameter, globose, densely brown-lepidote; styles 3, 2 mm long, spreading, bicrurate (very deeply bipartite, almost bisected), the segments erect, linear-filiform, glabrous.
    Fruits
    Fruits 6–8 × 6–8 mm, shallowly rounded-trilobate, septicidal, densely silvery-green lepidote, brown-flecked.
    Seeds
    Seeds 4.5–5 × 2.5–3 × 1.5–2 mm, narrowly compressed-ellipsoid, smooth, shiny, dark brown or blackish; caruncle 1 mm wide, convex, creamy-white.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Burkina, Caprivi Strip, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Other Data

    Croton pseudopulchellus Pax appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Sep 11, 1967 Jackson, J.A.D. [17725], Nigeria K000385847
    Jun 1, 1954 Thornewill, A.S. [15], Nigeria K000385846
    Jaeger, P. [3675], Mali K000385773
    Davies, R.M. [2055], Zimbabwe K000317978
    Tweedie, M. [3187], Kenya 41686.000
    Hall, J.B. [46252], Ghana K000385844
    Hall, J.B. [46252], Ghana K000385845
    Roberty, G. [17108], Mali K000385841
    Rushworth, J.E. [1311], Zimbabwe K000317980
    Turton, L. [s.n.], Botswana K000317977
    Yapping, J. [24/60], Zimbabwe K000317979
    Chevalier, A.J.B. [961], Burkina Faso K000385842
    Chevalier, A.J.B. [961], Burkina Faso K000385843

    Bibliography

    First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 34: 371 (1904)

    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.
    • 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 West Tropical Africa

    • Aubrév. Fl. For. Soud.-Guin. 195–196, t. 37, 8.
    • —F.T.A. 6, 1: 755

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • 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.
    • Curtis, B. & Mannheimer, C. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia: 1-688. The National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 196 (1962).
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 192 (1961).
    • Keay, Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 394 (1958).
    • 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).
    • Battiscombe & Dale, Trees and Shrubs of Kenya Colony p. 51 (1936).
    • A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3(2): 47 (1921).
    • Hutch. in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 757 (1912).
    • Pax in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 34: 371 (1904).

    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

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical 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