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California Croton
Croton californicus

About California Croton (Croton californicus) Croton californicus is a species of croton known by the common name California croton. This plant is a perennial or small shrub not exceeding a meter in height. The plant produces long oval-shaped leaves a few centimeters long and covered in a light-colored coat of hairs. This species is dioecious, with individual plants bearing either male (staminate) or female (pistillate) flowers, both only a few millimeters across. The staminate flowers are tiny cups filled with thready yellowish stamens and the pistillate flowers are the rounded, lobed immature fruits surrounded by tiny pointed sepals. This plant is native to California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Baja California, where it grows in the deserts and along the coastline.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
3.3 ft (1 m)

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy places, dunes, washes


Elevation ?
-191' - 6808'

Annual Precip. ?
2.5" - 46.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.31"

Coldest Month ?
39.3° F - 62.0° F

Hottest Month ?
59.2° F - 89.5° F

Humidity ?
0.47 vpd - 47.01 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sand or decomposed granite


Sunset Zones ?
15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Desert Croton

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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