A frequent plant of dunes along nearly all of the Florida coast except for Monroe County and the big bend area. The range extends along the Gulf and southeastern Atlantic coast from Texas into North Carolina. Also found in Pennsylvania.
Gulf croton is a perennial herb with somewhat woody stems that grows less than a meter (3 ft.) tall. The stems are pubescent, tan-colored and branched. The leaves are petioled and mostly ovate with entire or undulate margins. The underside of the leaf is covered with minute scales, creating a brown-flecked appearance on the otherwise silvery leaves. The flowers lack petals, have 5 sepals with the male flowers sometimes having 6 sepals and the female flowers below the male flowers. Male flowers have 10-13 stamens. Female flowers have three styles 1-2mm (~ 1/16 in.) long that are cleft into one to two dozen terminal segments. Female flowers have shorter pedicels and longer sepals than the male flowers. The fruit capsules are three-lobed 5-8mm by 7-9mm (~ 1/4 x 1/3 in.).
Croton punctatus is also called beach tea.
Croton punctatus is a member of the Euphorbiaceae - Spurge family.
Other species of the Croton genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Croton argyranthemus - SILVER CROTON
Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis - VENTE CONMIGO
Date record last modified: Oct 05, 2018