Croton megalobotrys Müll.Arg.

First published in Flora 47: 537 (1864)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is SW. Tanzania to S. Africa. It is a tree and grows primarily in the desert or dry shrubland biome.

Descriptions

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

Morphology General Habit
A shrub or tree up to 14 m tall, sometimes sarmentose, often lax branched from the base, monoecious or sometimes dioecious; crown conical to rounded.
Morphology Trunk
Trunk up to 60 cm in diameter and 180 cm in circumference, angular.
Morphology General Bark
Bark grey, longitudinally lenticellate, smooth at first later becoming fissured.
Morphology Branches
Branches drooping.
Morphology Twigs
Twigs grey-green, lenticellate.
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules 3–7 mm long, linear-lanceolate, often 1–2-lobed near the base, subglabrous, soon falling.
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petioles 2–7(11) cm long, densely stellate-pilose at first, soon glabrescent, with 2 stipitate discoid glands at the apex.
Morphology Leaves Leaf lamina
Leaf blades 3–19 × 2–13 cm, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, usually acutely caudate-acuminate at the apex, somewhat irregularly and coarsely crenate-serrate or dentate on the margins, cuneate to rounded or truncate to cordate at the base, membranous to thinly chartaceous, densely stellate-tomentose on both surfaces at first, later glabrescent above and cottony stellate-pilose beneath, slightly roughened, light or deep green; 3–7-nerved from the base, lateral nerves in 3–5 pairs, slightly prominent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Racemes terminal on the main axis or terminating short axillary or lateral shoots, the male racemes and the androgynous racemes 4.5–17 cm long, the female racemes 2–3 cm long; axes densely stellate-pilose at first, later sparingly so; bracts resembling the stipules, the male bracts several-flowered, the female bracts usually only 1-flowered.
sex Male
Male flowers: pedicels 3–7 mm long, slender; sepals 5, 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, suborbicular, subglabrous without, glabrous within, ciliate, pale green; petals 5, 4 × 1.5 mm, oblanceolate, subacute, pubescent at the apex, pale cream-yellow or whitish; disk glands free, truncate; stamens 15–20(25), filaments 3 mm long, glabrous, anthers 0.5 mm long; receptacle densely villous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers: pedicels 3–5 mm long, extending to up to 10 mm in fruit, stout; sepals 5, larger than in the male flowers and ovate, but otherwise similar; petals absent; disk shallowly 5-lobed, crenulate; ovary 3 mm in diameter, globose, densely stellate-tomentose; styles 3, 3 mm long, 4-partite, inflexed, glabrous, buff-orange, persistent. Male flowers: pedicels 3–7 mm long, slender; sepals 5, 2.5–3 × 2–2.5 mm, suborbicular, subglabrous without, glabrous within, ciliate, pale green; petals 5, 4 × 1.5 mm, oblanceolate, subacute, pubescent at the apex, pale cream-yellow or whitish; disk glands free, truncate; stamens 15–20(25), filaments 3 mm long, glabrous, anthers 0.5 mm long; receptacle densely villous.
sex Female
Female flowers: pedicels 3–5 mm long, extending to up to 10 mm in fruit, stout; sepals 5, larger than in the male flowers and ovate, but otherwise similar; petals absent; disk shallowly 5-lobed, crenulate; ovary 3 mm in diameter, globose, densely stellate-tomentose; styles 3, 3 mm long, 4-partite, inflexed, glabrous, buff-orange, persistent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits 2–3.5 × 2.2–3.5 cm when dry, up to 4 × 3.8 cm when fresh, trilobate-subglobose, often bilobate or ovoid-ellipsoid by abortion, indehiscent, softly stellate-tomentose at first, later glabrescent, bright green at first, later becoming orange to golden-brown.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1.7–2 × 1.5–1.8 × 0.9–1.2 cm, broadly compressed-ovoid, subtruncate, dark purplish-brown, dull, ecarunculate.
[FZ]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/146211434/146211436

Conservation
LC - least concern
[IUCN]

Common Names

English
Fever-berry croton, Large fever-berry, River fever-berry

Sources

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew
  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Plants and People Africa

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
    • © Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/