Croton sparsiflorus Morong
A monoecious woody herb or shrub to 1.5 m in height, but more usually c. 30-40 cm, with whorled branches. Young shoots and petioles evenly stellate-lepidote. Leaves alternate, subopposite or whorled. Petioles 0.3-1 cm long. Leaf-blades lanceolate, (2-) 3-5.5 x 0.5-2.5 cm, acute, cuneate, with 2 small sessile discoid basal glands beneath, crenate-serrate, membranous, penninerved, glabrous above, sparingly stellate-lepidote beneath, dark green. Stipules subulate, 0.5 mm long. Racemes terminal, up to 15 cm long, c. the lower third ♀, the upper two-thirds ♂; axis sparingly stellate-lepidote to subglabrous; bracts triangular lanceolate, 1 mm long. Male flowers: pedicels 1-1.5 mm long, glabrous; buds globose, subglabrous; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes elliptic-ovate, l .5-1 mm, subacute, greenish-yellow; petals 5, oblong, recurved, 2 x 0.5 mm, obtuse, subglabrous, whitish; disc-glands free, subglobose, apiculate; stamens 13-16, filaments 2 mm long, anthers 0.3 mm long; receptacle glabrous. Female flowers subsessile; calyx-lobes 5, triangular-ovate, 1 x 1 mm, subacute, not accrescent, subglabrous; petals 0; disc annular; ovary ellipsoid-subtrilobate, 1.5 x 1 mm, densely stellate-lepidote; styles 3, ± free, 1.5 mm long, spreading, glabrous, bifnd, the arms filiform. Fruit ellipsoid-trigonous, 5-6 x 4 mm, septicidally dehiscent, sparingly stellate-lepidote. Seeds compressed-ellipsoid, 4 x 2 mm, grey, slightly roughened; caruncle bilobate.
Fl. Per.: April-July. Fl. & Fr. Per.: October-March.
Holotype: Argentina, Corrientes, 1833, Bonpland s.n. (P). Isotype (P); Paratype & Isoparatype: Paraguay, April-May 1845, Weddell 3207 (P).
Distribution: S. Bolivia, Paraguay, S.W. Brazil, N. Argentina; accidentally introduced into what is now Bangladesh in 1897/8, and now widespread in the Palaeotropics.
In sandy clay soil along roadsides, irrigation canal banks, in plantations and on waste ground; 2000'/610 m.