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Croton plants

It is not a garden staple on the planet Mars. Despite the fact that its name sounds like it came from a space movie, the croton plant, or Codiaeum variegatum, is a perennial evergreen shrub, native to India and Malaysia. The name “croton” comes from a Greek word for tick, as the croton seed resembles a tick in shape.

This tropical plant has thick, leathery leaves of varying colors, shapes, and sizes. As it ages, the plant’s color may darken to nearly black.

There are many different croton plant varieties. This plant grows in an assortment of shapes and colors including red, orange, purple, pink, yellow, green, and white. Here’s a list of some of our favorite types:

  • Banana Croton
  • Bush on Fire Croton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Croton
  • Gold Dust or Gold Sun Croton
  • Magnificent Croton
  • Mammy Croton
  • Mrs. Iceton Croton
  • Oakleaf Croton
  • Petra Croton
  • Sunny Star Croton
  • Yellow Iceton Croton
  • Zanzibar Croton

At one time, the oil from one species of croton, Croton tiglium, was used medicinally as a purgative. These days, croton plants are used primarily for their aesthetic value. Adding a croton plant brings a burst of color to an otherwise green landscape.

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