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Croton sylvaticus

Family: Euphorbiaceae (Euphorbia family)

Common names: Forest Fever Berry, Forest Croton (E); umaHlabekufeni (Z); Boskoorsbessie (A); umFeze (X);

Native to: Southern Africa
Tree

Croton sylvaticus

EVERGREEN

FULL SUN

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

7m x 3m

MAXIMUM SIZE:

13m x 5m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Croton sylvaticus

DESCRIPTION

An evergreen tree or shrub with a dense crown of dark green foliage. The bark grey bark becomes rough with age. The leaves are uniform green on both sides and are carried on long stalks with 2 glands at the base. It bears tiny, pale yellow flowers borne on long, sturdy spikes.  The decorative fruit is a bright orange, 3-lobed capsule which is carried in long, conspicuous in clusters among the leaves.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Forest and dense woodland.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
The fruit attracts birds.
The plant is a larval host plant to seven species of moth and one butterfly species.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
Water moderately when young.
MAINTENANCE
Low maintenance.
LANDSCAPING USES
A decorative shady tree that can be added to any wildlife-friendly garden. The fruit are eaten by birds.
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Forest, Woodland
FLOWERS
Tiny pale yellow or cream flowers are produced on long spikes up to 15cm long. Male and female flowers are produced together and the majority are male. Female flowers are closely grouped towards the base of the spike.
FOLIAGE
Alternate, broadly lanceolate to ovate, uniform green on both surfaces. Young leaves have short hairs on the under surface.
BARK
The bark is pale to dark grey, smooth when young and becoming rough with age.
FRUIT
A bright orange, 3-lobbed capsule, 8-10mm in diameter.
BUTTERFLY/MOTH HOST PLANT
Charaxes candiope (Green-veined Caraxes, Green-veined Emperor)
Moths:-
Epiphora mythimnia, Stemmatophalera persimilis, Stemmatophalera sjostedti, Stigmella crotonica, Stomphastis aphrocyma, Stomphastis crotoniphila, Thaumatotibia leucotreta
CAUTION
Parts of the tree are believed to be toxic. The bark has been used as a fish poison.

One Response

  1. A small ( about 30 mm long) caterpillar has eaten all the leaves of the Croton sylvaticus over the last few days. The caterpillar is predominantly black and seems to have six legs. I have looked up the Charaxes candiope caterpillar but it doesn’t seem to be that. Could you give me the names of the moths that the tree hosts to help me identify the caterpillar please.

    kind regards
    Mike Lillyman
    Pennington

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