Codiaeum variegatum20 April
Croton is a diverse and complex taxonomic group of plants ranging from herbs and shrubs to trees. This genus is pantropical, with some species extending into temperate areas. It is known to be one of the largest and most complex genera of angiosperms in Madagascar, where up to 150 Croton species are endemic. Today this genus can be found in your home or displayed ornamentally, its diverse variety makes this a proper show in the garden. Specifically, the oil of Croton tiglium was extracted from its seeds and was used in herbal medicine as a violent purgative. In addition the oil has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat severe constipation and heal lesions. Nowadays, it is considered unsafe and it is no longer listed in the pharmacopeias of many countries. The species pictured in this post is Codiaeum variegated ‘ramshot’ found here at the garden.