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Published In: Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 15(2[2]): 692. 1866. (Prodr.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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6. Croton texensis (Klotzsch) Müll. Arg. (skunk weed, Texas croton)

Map 1661, Pl. 378 a, b

Plants dioecious, densely pubescent (sometimes only moderately so on the upper surface of the leaf blades) with more or less sessile, minute, stellate hairs, the branches 0.1–0.4 mm long, sometimes slightly unequal, the branches rarely fused toward the base and the hairs then appearing as peltate scales. Stems 20–90 cm long, often sparsely to moderately alternately branched, but sometimes with a whorl of branches above the midpoint. Leaves all or mostly alternate, mostly short-petiolate (the longest petioles less than 1/2 as long as the blade), the petiole without large, saucer-shaped glands at the tip. Leaf blades 1–5(–8) cm long, narrowly oblong to oblong-lanceolate or narrowly oblong-ovate, rounded or less commonly broadly angled at the base, rounded to angled or tapered to a bluntly or sharply pointed tip, the margins entire or slightly wavy below the midpoint, the undersurface usually paler than the upper surface. Inflorescences terminal at the branch tips (the uppermost branches sometimes short and these inflorescences then appearing axillary), short, dense, spikelike racemes (often appearing headlike or as dense clusters). Staminate flowers with the calyx 5-lobed, 1–2 mm long; the petals absent; the stamens 8–12. Pistillate flowers with the calyx 2.5–4.0 mm long at flowering, becoming slightly enlarged to 3–5 mm long at fruiting, 5-lobed; the petals absent; the ovary 3-locular, the 3 styles each divided nearly to the base into 4–6 lobes (the total number of stigmatic branches thus theoretically 12–18 per flower). Fruits 4–6 mm in length and diameter, nearly spherical, persistently densely hairy at maturity and sometimes finely warty, 3-seeded (rarely 2-seeded by abortion of 1 ovule). Seeds 3.5–4.0 mm long, oblong-ovate in outline, sometimes somewhat flattened, the caruncle present. May–October.

Introduced, uncommon, known only from historical collections from Jackson County (Wyoming to Arizona east to South Dakota and Texas; Mexico; introduced sporadically farther east). Banks of rivers; also railroads and open, sandy, disturbed areas.

This species is superficially similar in appearance to C. capitatus. According to Steyermark (1963), farther west it is a problem range plant and has caused cattle poisonings in portions of its native range.



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