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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Euphorbiaceae

3. Croton argyranthemus Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 215. 1803. (as argyranthemum).

Healing or silver croton Healing or silver croton

Herbs or subshrubs, annual or short-lived perennial, 1–6 dm, monoecious. Stems several from base, branching distally into 2–4 branches, lepidote. Leaves not clustered; stipules subulate, 0.2 mm; petiole 0.2–1(–2) cm, glands absent at apex; blade on proximal parts of stems oval to narrowly obovate, on distal parts oblong to lanceolate-oblong or broadly elliptic, 1–5 × 0.5–2(–3) cm, base rounded to narrowed, margins entire, apex obtuse to rounded, abaxial surface silvery, densely lepidote, adaxial surface darker green, sparsely lepidote or glabrate. Inflorescences bisexual, racemes, 2–5 cm, staminate flowers 15–35, pistillate flowers 2–8. Pedicels: staminate 1–5 mm, pistillate 0–2 mm. Staminate flowers: sepals 5, 5 mm, abaxial surface lepidote; petals 5, oblong-spatulate, 5 mm, abaxial surface densely lepidote, scales translucent, petals appearing hyaline; stamens 10–15. Pistillate flowers: sepals 5–7, connate for 1/2+ length, equal, 3–4 mm, margins entire, apex incurved, abaxial surface lepidote; petals 0; ovary 3-locular; styles 3, 2–4 mm, 1–3 times 2-fid at apex, terminal segments 6–24. Capsules 5–6 × 3–4 mm, smooth; columella 3-angled. Seeds 4–5 × 2.5–3 mm, dull.

Flowering Mar–Sep. Deep sandy soils in pinelands, pine-oak scrub, sandhills; 0–200 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., Tex.; Mexico (Nuevo León, Tamaulipas).

Croton argyranthemus is closely related to C. coryi. Although they have very different kinds of vegetative indumentum, the staminate petals are characteristically silvery-lepidote in both species.


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