Description: Trees or shrubs, densely or sparsely covered with stellate hairs or scales, sometimes glabrescent with age.
Leaves alternate, toothed or crenate to entire, pinnately veined, 2 glands usually at junction of petiole with lamina.
Inflorescence terminal, raceme-like, mixed, female flowers often reduced to 1 basal flower. Sepals and petals mostly 5. Male flowers with small glands opposite the sepals; stamens 5–30. Female flowers with petals very small or absent; styles 3, divided into 2 or 4 branches, ovule solitary in each loculus.
Capsule 3-lobed, ± globose.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 750 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 12 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., tropical & E coast.
Text by T. A. James & G. J. Harden
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Mature leaves green and glabrous, or almost so, on both surfaces||2|
|Mature leaves white or silvery below, densely covered with stellate hairs or scales on the lower surface, or on both surfaces||3|
|2||Leaves thick; petiolar glands sessile; buds and young stems covered with brown scales, scales also sparsely scattered on lower surface of younger leaves, glabrescent with age||Croton acronychioides|
|Leaves thin; petiolar glands stalked; buds and young stems covered with silvery scales; lamina glabrous on both surfaces|
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|3||Leaves more or less glabrous and green above, silvery or whitish below; petiolar glands usually present||4|
|Leaves densely woolly with stellate hairs, both surfaces white; petiolar glands absent|
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|4||Leaves more than 15 mm wide, glands present||5|
|Leaves less than 15 mm wide, glands sometimes absent|
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|5||Leaves silvery below, covered with scales; petiolar glands sessile||Croton insularis|
|Leaves whitish below, covered with stellate hairs; petiolar glands stalked|
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|6||Margins of leaves usually entire, secondary veins slightly raised above, more or less obscure below||Croton phebalioides|
|Margins of leaves mostly toothed, secondary veins impressed above, distinctly raised below|
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