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This species is accepted, and its native range is S. Somalia to S. Tropical Africa.

[FTEA]

Euphorbiaceae, A. R.-Smith. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1987

Morphology General Habit
A large monoecious or occasionally dioecious tree up to 35 m. tall, though commonly 15–25 m., with a clear bole up to 20 m. high and 1 m. diameter and a spreading crown; bark pale grey-brown, closely longitudinally fissured.
Morphology Twigs
Young twigs densely fulvous lepidote to fulvous or ferruginous stellate-lepidote. Older twigs greyish brown, tardily glabrescent.
Morphology Leaves
Petioles 2–8(–11) cm. long, densely fulvous lepidote to fulvous or ferruginous stellate-lepidote; leaf-blade ovate, elliptic-ovate, elliptic-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, (4–)7–14(–19) cm. long, (1.5–)3–7(–11) cm. wide, shortly and acutely or subacutely acuminate, cuneate-rounded, rounded or shallowly cordate, with 2(–4) sessile or stalked basal glands visible or not from above, entire, firmly chartaceous to subcoriaceous, lateral nerves 15–25 pairs, not or slightly impressed above, slightly prominent beneath, midrib impressed above, prominent beneath, evenly minutely stellate-puberulous and medium to dark green above, densely silvery lepidote or rarely stellate-lepidote and brown flecked beneath, the scales fimbriate.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules linear-filiform, sometimes somewhat laciniate towards the base, 5–10 mm. long., sparingly scurfily stellate-lepidote, subpersistent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Racemes terminal, 7.5–30 cm. long, all ♂ or with a few ♀ flowers at the base, axis angular, densely fulvous lepidote to fulvous or ferruginous stellate-lepidote; bracts linear-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 2–4.5 mm. long, densely stellate-lepidote, soon caducous.
sex Male
Male flowers:pedicels 7–15 mm. long, densely silvery lepidote, often brown flecked; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes triangular-ovate, 4.5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, subacutely acuminate, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked without, densely pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin at the apex, greenish yellow; petals 5, obovate, 5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, densely silvery lepidote and sparingly light-brown flecked without, pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin, pale straw-yellow; disc-glands ± free, truncate; stamens 25–30(–40), filaments 5–7(–8) mm. long, glabrous above, sparingly pilose below, anthers 1.5–2 mm. long; receptacle pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers:pedicels 4–12 mm. long, up to 2 cm. long in fruit, stouter than in the ♂; calyx-lobes 3.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, otherwise as in the ♂; petals 5, linear, 5 mm. long, 0.5 mm. wide, lepidote without in the lower part, otherwise subglabrous, pubescent within and villous on the margin; disc shallowly 5-lobed or ± annular; ovary subglobose-subtrilobed, 4 mm. diameter, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked; styles 3, spreading, 1.5 mm. long, subglabrous above, densely stellate-lepidote beneath, shortly bipartite, the segments 2–4-lobulate. Male flowers:pedicels 7–15 mm. long, densely silvery lepidote, often brown flecked; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes triangular-ovate, 4.5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, subacutely acuminate, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked without, densely pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin at the apex, greenish yellow; petals 5, obovate, 5 mm. long, 3.5 mm. wide, densely silvery lepidote and sparingly light-brown flecked without, pubescent within, somewhat villous on the margin, pale straw-yellow; disc-glands ± free, truncate; stamens 25–30(–40), filaments 5–7(–8) mm. long, glabrous above, sparingly pilose below, anthers 1.5–2 mm. long; receptacle pubescent.
sex Female
Female flowers:pedicels 4–12 mm. long, up to 2 cm. long in fruit, stouter than in the ♂; calyx-lobes 3.5 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, otherwise as in the ♂; petals 5, linear, 5 mm. long, 0.5 mm. wide, lepidote without in the lower part, otherwise subglabrous, pubescent within and villous on the margin; disc shallowly 5-lobed or ± annular; ovary subglobose-subtrilobed, 4 mm. diameter, densely silvery lepidote and brown flecked; styles 3, spreading, 1.5 mm. long, subglabrous above, densely stellate-lepidote beneath, shortly bipartite, the segments 2–4-lobulate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit ellipsoid-ovoid to subglobose, not lobed, 3–4.5 cm. long, 2.5–3(–4) cm. diameter, loculicidal from the apex, lepidote; endocarp woody, 3–5.5 mm. thick, with three double rows of pits outside corresponding to the septa.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ellipsoid-ovoid or oblong-ellipsoid, (1.8–)2.2–2.4 cm. long, 1.2–1.4 cm. wide, somewhat ridged and rugulose, white when fresh, grey-brown when dry, with a minute caruncle.
Habitat
Evergreen forest; (700–)1200–2400 m.
Distribution
K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T6 T8 U2 U4

[FZ]

Euphorbiaceae, A. Radcliffe-Smith. Flora Zambesiaca 9:4. 1996

Morphology General Habit
A large tree up to 30 m tall with a spreading crown, monoecious or dioecious.
Morphology General Bark
Bark and twigs pale grey or brown.
Morphology General Indumentum
Young growth silvery-lepidote or rusty stellate-pubescent.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules 7–10 mm long, filiform.
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petioles 1.5–11 cm long.
Morphology Leaves Leaf lamina
Leaf blades 4–16 × 1.5–8 cm, elliptic-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, shortly acuminate, entire or almost so at the apex, cordulate at the base usually with 2(4) sessile or shortly stipitate basal glands on the under surface or near the petiole apex, chartaceous, evenly minutely stellate-pubescent and bright green on the upper surface, silvery-lepidote and brown-flecked beneath; lateral nerves in 10–21 pairs, not or slightly impressed above, prominent beneath.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Racemes 2.5–16(30) cm long, terminal, all male or with a few female flowers at the base; axis angular, rusty-lepidote; bracts 1–2 mm long, subulate, soon falling.
sex Male
Male flowers: pedicels 3–10 mm long; buds 4–5 mm in diameter, globose, rusty-lepidote; sepals 5, c. 4 × 2.5 mm, ovate, rusty-lepidote without, sericeous-pubescent within, greenish-yellow; petals 5, 4.5 × 3 mm, obovate, lepidote without, pubescent within, ciliate, pale yellow; disk glands 5(6), free, truncate; stamens c. 30, filaments 5–7 mm long, glabrous above, pilose below, anthers c. 1 mm long; receptacle pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers: pedicels 4–10 mm long, extending to 2 cm in fruit, stouter than in the male; sepals somewhat smaller than in the male flowers, but otherwise similar; petals 5, 5 × 0.5 mm, linear, lepidote without at the base, pubescent within, ciliate; disk shallowly 5-lobed; ovary 3 mm in diameter, subtrilobate-subglobose, densely lepidote; styles 3, 1.5 mm long, spreading, 2-partite, the segments 2–4-lobulate, lepidote beneath, otherwise subglabrous. Male flowers: pedicels 3–10 mm long; buds 4–5 mm in diameter, globose, rusty-lepidote; sepals 5, c. 4 × 2.5 mm, ovate, rusty-lepidote without, sericeous-pubescent within, greenish-yellow; petals 5, 4.5 × 3 mm, obovate, lepidote without, pubescent within, ciliate, pale yellow; disk glands 5(6), free, truncate; stamens c. 30, filaments 5–7 mm long, glabrous above, pilose below, anthers c. 1 mm long; receptacle pubescent.
sex Female
Female flowers: pedicels 4–10 mm long, extending to 2 cm in fruit, stouter than in the male; sepals somewhat smaller than in the male flowers, but otherwise similar; petals 5, 5 × 0.5 mm, linear, lepidote without at the base, pubescent within, ciliate; disk shallowly 5-lobed; ovary 3 mm in diameter, subtrilobate-subglobose, densely lepidote; styles 3, 1.5 mm long, spreading, 2-partite, the segments 2–4-lobulate, lepidote beneath, otherwise subglabrous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits (1.5)3–4.5 × (1.5)2.5–3(4) cm, ellipsoid-ovoid to subglobose, loculicidal, creamy-lepidote; endocarp woody, pitted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 2 × 1 × 0.7 cm, ellipsoid, shallowly rugulose, slightly shiny, yellowish-grey; caruncle minute.

Native to:

Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre

Croton megalocarpus Hutch. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Sep 1, 1956 Elliott, C.F. [51], Kenya K000347459 Unknown type material
Willan, R.W. [264], Tanzania 15726.000

First published in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 6(1): 760 (1912)

Accepted by

  • Bamps, P. (2009). Croton gratissimus (Euphorbiaceae), nouveau pour la flore du Congo-Kinshasa Systematics and Geography of Plants 79: 248-250.
  • Calane da Silva, M., Izdine, S. & Amuse, A.B. (2004). A Preliminary Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Mozambique: 1-184. SABONET, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A. (2000). World Checklist and Bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (and Pandaceae) 1-4: 1-1622. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Literature

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • A. Engler & O. Drude, Die Vegetation Der Erde, IX, Pflanzenwelt Afrikas 3(2): 47 (1921).
  • Battiscombe & Dale, Trees and Shrubs of Kenya Colony p. 50 (1936).
  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 191 (1961).
  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 196 (1962).
  • Hutch. in Flora of Tropical Africa 6(1): 760 (1912).
  • J. Léon. in Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi, 8(1): 54 (1962).
  • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 204 (1949).
  • Robyns, Flore des Spermatophytes du Parc National Albert 1: 449 (1948).
  • Troupin, Fl. Pl. Lign. Rwanda: 257, t. 88.1 (1982)
  • Troupin, Fl. Rwanda 2: 217, t. 65/1 (1983).
  • W.J. Eggeling, Indigenous Trees of the Uganda Protectorate, ed. 2, 122 (1952).

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
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Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
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Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0