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Croton (genus): Wikis


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Croton eleuteria
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Crotoneae
Genus: Croton
Selected Species
  • Croton acronychioides
  • Croton alabamensis
  • Croton alabamensis var. texensis
  • Croton argyratus
  • Croton aridus
  • Croton arnhemicus
  • Croton californicus - California croton
  • Croton capitatus - hogwort
  • Croton ciliato-glandsulosus
  • Croton cortesianus
  • Croton coryi - Cory's croton
  • Croton corymbulosus - encilla, manzanilla
  • Croton craco
  • Croton crassifolius
  • Croton dioicus - grassland croton
  • Croton dissectistipulatus
  • Croton draco
  • Croton echinocarpus
  • Croton eleuteria
  • Croton elliottii - Elliott's croton
  • Croton eluteria
  • Croton flavens
  • Croton floribundus
  • Croton fruticulosus - encinilla, bush croton
  • Croton glandulosus
  • Croton glandulosus var. crenatifolius
  • Croton glandulosus var. floridanus
  • Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis
  • Croton glandulosus var. simpsonii
  • Croton gossipifolius
  • Croton gratissimus
  • Croton guatemalensis
  • Croton habrophyllus
  • Croton hancei - Hong Kong croton
  • Croton humilis - pepperbush
  • Croton incanus - Torrey's croton
  • Croton insularis - Queensland's cascarilla
  • Croton lechleri- Sangre de drago
  • Croton leucophyllus - two-color croton
  • Croton linearis - grannybush
  • Croton lobatus
  • Croton lundianus
  • Croton macrostachys
  • Croton malambo
  • Croton megalocarpus
  • Croton monanthogynus - prairie-tea
  • Croton morifolius
  • Croton neomexicanus
  • Croton niveus
  • Croton oblongifolius
  • Croton oligandrum
  • Croton origanifolius
  • Croton ovalifolius
  • Croton palanostigma
  • Croton parksii - Parks' croton
  • Croton poilanei
  • Croton populifolius
  • Croton pottsii - leatherweed
  • Croton prunifolius
  • Croton punctatus - Gulf croton
  • Croton reflexifolius
  • Croton repens
  • Croton roxburghii
  • Croton salutaris
  • Croton schultzii
  • Croton setigerus - Turkey mullein
  • Croton sonorae
  • Croton suaveolens - scented croton
  • Croton texensis - Texas croton
  • Croton tiglium
  • Croton tomentellus
  • Croton variegatum
  • Croton verreauxii
  • Croton watsonii
  • Croton wigginsii - Wiggins' croton
  • Croton xalapensis

See also:

About 1,200 species

Croton is an extensive plant genus of the family Euphorbiaceae established by Carolus Linnaeus in 1737. The plants of this genus were described and introduced to Europeans by Georg Eberhard Rumphius. The common names for this genus are rushfoil and croton, but the latter also refers to Codiaeum variegatum. The genus name comes from Greek Kroton, which means ticks, because of the seeds' resemblance to ticks. The genus has 625 species.



The best known member of this genus is probably Croton tiglium, commonly called croton, a tree or shrub native to Southeast Asia. It was first mentioned in European literature by Cristóvão da Costa in 1578 as lignum pavanae. Croton oil, used in herbal medicine as a violent purgative, is extracted from its seeds. Nowadays, it is considered unsafe and it is no longer listed in the pharmacopeias of many countries.



Medicinal uses

Croton oil has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is a source of the organic compound phorbol and its esters, and found recent usage as the active ingredient in facial-rejuvenating chemical peels when used in a phenol-based solution, thanks to its caustic exfoliating effect on the dermal layer of the skin.

Food uses

Croton species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia citrinellus, which feeds exclusively on the plant.

Biofuel uses

It has recently been shown in Kenya that Croton nuts, such as those from C. megalocarpus,[1] are a more economical source of biofuel than Jatropha. In Kenya, Jatropha requires as much as 20,000 litres of water to make a litre of biofuel, while Croton trees grow wild and yield about .35 litres of oil per kilo of nuts. Croton trees are planted as a windbreak in Kenya and its use as a source of biofuel may benefit rural economies there. As arable land is under population pressure, people have been cutting down the windbreaks to expand farmland. This new use may save the windbreaks which should help fight desertification.


Cascarilla (Croton eleuteria) is found exclusively in the Bahama Islands. It is a small tree, rarely reaching 20 feet in height, with scanty, alternate, ovate-lanceolate leaves, averaging 2 inches long, closely scaled below, giving a metallic silver-bronze appearance, with scattered white scales above. The flowers are small, with white petals, and very fragrant, appearing in March and April. The scented bark is fissured and pale yellowish brown. Its pungent-smelling bark is used as a flavoring, principally for liqueurs such as Campari. A tree normally grown as a wind breaker or planted as a fence by Kenyan farmers now offers a new opportunity for biofuel production.

Kenya had set its future biofuel hopes on the jatropha but now the croton tree, a non-food crop known as mukinduri in central Kenya, and Chepkeleliet, Lemaruguet, Masineitel, Mkigara, Mlalai, Muhande and Musine in various other parts of Kenya, is promising equal opportunities in the quantity and quality of biofuel, according to biofuel experts.

Kenya is currently in the process of identifying the best combination of non-food crops to use to produce biofuel to supplement the country’s voracious appetite for fossil fuels whose cost of import is the equivalent of Sh120 billion every year.

The push for biofuel is driven in part by its potential to benefit rural communities by offering them a new income stream.

James Mwangi, a small holder farmer based in Naro Moru, has pioneered the processing of croton tree nuts to produce fuel. The filtered fuel is then used by consumers to run their modified diesel car engines or fed directly into generators to produce electricity or pump water.

Mr Mwangi runs a community-based organisation that started as a group to help farmers market their pyrethrum in the area. It was through research that they discovered that nuts of croton tree could produce fuel.

Partners in Holland carried out further tests on the fuel and discovered that it has one of the highest fuel content levels of the crops that have been identified as suitable for the production of biofuel among them rapeseeds, avocado and jatropha.

The use of croton nuts for biofuel is seen as a new window of opportunity for the renewable energy industry in Kenya as doubts mount about the viability of the jathropha crop, both locally and globally.

Currently, the Ministry of Energy’s biofuel strategy is anchored the jatropha. Its proponents claim it can grow in arid and semi arid areas and has high fuel content, but the growing body of evidence suggests otherwise.

A global research on jatropha conducted by University of Twente in the Netherlands found that the crop requires more water than other biofuel crops.

Although the plant survives more easily than others without water, it would need substantially more water than soy, corn or sugar beet to produce enough fuel for comparable amounts of energy, the research conducted mid-this year found.

“There is a misunderstanding that plants that are drought resistant can do well without water. During this period of drought, the plant doesn’t grow,” said Prof Arjen Hoekstra of the University of Twente. Added by Prosper kaze


The genus is pantropical, with some species extending into temperate areas.[2]

Croton tiglium


This genus is also known under a lot of other names:



External links


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