21. Croton monanthogynus Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 215. 1803. (as monanthogynum).
One-seed croton, prairie tea One-seed croton, prairie tea
Engelmannia nuttalliana Klotzsch; Gynamblosis monanthogyna (Michaux) Torrey; Heptallon ellipticum Rafinesque; Oxydectes monanthogyna (Michaux) Kuntze
Herbs, annual, 2–5 dm, monoecious. Stems dichotomously branched from near base, stellate-hairy, some stellate hairs with dark brown centers. Leaves sometimes clustered near inflorescences; stipules glandlike, 0.1–0.3 mm; petiole 0.3–1.5 cm, glands absent at apex; blade ovate-oblong to nearly round (proximal) to narrowly elliptic (distal), 1–3.5 × 0.5–3 cm, base obtuse to rounded or truncate, margins entire, apex rounded to acute, abaxial surface pale green, sparsely whitish stellate-hairy and appearing brown-dotted, some hairs with dark brown centers, adaxial surface darker green, densely stellate-hairy, hairs without brown centers. Inflorescences bisexual or sometimes pistillate, congested racemes, 0.3–1 cm, staminate flowers 3–10, pistillate flowers 1–2(–5). Pedicels: staminate 0.5–2 mm, pistillate 1–2.5 mm (2–3 mm and recurved in fruit). Staminate flowers: sepals 3–5, 0.7–1 mm, abaxial surface stellate-hairy; petals 3–5, narrowly elliptic-oblanceolate, 0.7–1 mm, abaxial surface glabrous except margins villous; stamens 3–5. Pistillate flowers: sepals 5, subequal, 1.5–2 mm, margins entire, apex straight to slightly incurved, abaxial surface stellate-hairy, some hairs with dark brown centers; petals 0; ovary 2-locular, 1 fertile; styles 2, 0.8–1.2(–1.5) mm, 2-fid to base, terminal segments 4. Capsules appearing follicular (1-seeded), 3.5–4.5 × 1.8–2.2 mm, smooth; columella ± curved, apparently deciduous upon dehiscence of capsule. Seeds 2.5–3.3 × 2–2.5 mm, shiny. 2n = 20.
Flowering May–Nov. Prairies, sandstone and limestone glades, thinly wooded bluffs, fallow fields, other disturbed habitats; 0–1000 m; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.Mex., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.; Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas).
Croton monanthogynus may be adventive in the northernmost states.