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Croton (plant) – Wikipedia

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– Description:
– Croton is a diverse and complex taxonomic group of plants ranging from herbs and shrubs to trees.
– A well-known member of this genus is Croton tiglium, a shrub native to Southeast Asia.
– Croton tiglium was first mentioned in European literature by Cristóbal Acosta in 1578.
– The oil extracted from Croton tiglium seeds is used in herbal medicine as a purgative.
– The oil from Croton tiglium seeds is considered unsafe and is no longer listed in many pharmacopeias.

– Taxonomy:
– Croton is an extensive plant genus in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae.
– The plants of this genus were described and introduced to Europeans by Georg Eberhard Rumphius.
– Croton is one of the largest and most complex genera of angiosperms in Madagascar.
– Croton species are pantropical, with some extending into temperate areas.
– The genus Croton comprises a wide range of species, each with unique characteristics.

– Uses:
– Traditional uses of Croton include the medicinal properties of Croton tiglium oil.
– Croton seeds have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat severe constipation and diarrhea.
– In the Amazon, red latex from Croton lechleri is used for medicinal purposes.
– Cascarilla bark from Croton eluteria is used to flavor liquors like Campari and Vermouth.
– Croton megalocarpus nuts have been found to be a more economical source of biofuel in Kenya.

– Ecology:
– Croton species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species.
– Some Lepidoptera species, such as Schinia citrinellus, feed exclusively on Croton plants.
– Codiaeum variegatum, formerly placed in the Croton genus, is used by certain butterfly species.
– Croton trees are planted as windbreaks in Kenya to prevent desertification.
– Croton trees yield about 35% oil for biofuel production, benefiting rural economies.

– Distribution:
– The Croton genus is pantropical, with some species extending into temperate regions.
– Madagascar is home to up to 150 endemic Croton species.
– Croton species are widely distributed and play important ecological roles.
– Croton plants are adapted to various climates and habitats.
– The distribution of Croton species contributes to the biodiversity of different regions.

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