Croton is an extensive flowering plant genus in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae, established by Carl Linnaeus in 1737. The plants of this genus were described and introduced to Europeans by Georg Eberhard Rumphius. The common names for this genus are rushfoil and croton, but the latter also refers to Codiaeum variegatum. The generic name comes from the Greek κροτον (kroton), which means "tick" and refers to the shape of the seeds of certain species.
The best known member of this genus is probably Croton tiglium, commonly called croton, a tree or shrub native to Southeast Asia. It was first mentioned in European literature by Cristóbal Acosta in 1578 as lignum pavanae. Croton oil, used in herbal medicine as a violent purgative, is extracted from its seeds. Nowadays, it is considered unsafe and it is no longer listed in the pharmacopeias of many countries.
Croton Indoor Plant
The croton plant is often grown outdoors in tropical climates, but also make excellent houseplants. Crotons come in a wide variety of leaf shapes and colors. Leaves can be short, long, twisted, thin, thick and several of these combined. Colors range from green, variegated, yellow, red, orange, cream, pink and black to a combination of all these. It is safe to say that if you look hard enough, you will find a croton that matches your décor.
When considering croton growing, check the variety you have purchased to determine the light needs of your specific variety. Some varieties of croton need high light while others need medium or low light. In general, the more variegated and colorful the croton plant, the more light it will need.