Codiaeum variegatum (Commonly called a "croton", or "variegated croton") is a species of plant in the Codiaeum Genus, which is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae. It is commonly used as a house plant.In the wild, garden croton is an evergreen shrub that grows to 10 ft (3.1 m) tall and has large, leathery, shiny leaves. The cultivated garden crotons are usually smaller and come in an amazing diversity of leaf shapes and colors. What they do have in common are rather thick evergreen alternate leaves, tiny inconspicuous star-shaped yellow flowers that hang down in long racemes, and a milky sap that bleeds from cut stems. Depending on the cultivar, the leaves may be ovate to linear, entire to deeply lobed, and variegated with green, white, purple, orange, yellow, red or pink. The colors may follow the veins, the margins or they may be in blotches on the leaf.
Garden croton occurs naturally in southern Asia, Indonesia and other Eastern Pacific islands where it grows in open forests and scrub.
In tropical climates, crotons make attractive hedges and potted patio specimens. Elsewhere, they are grown in greenhouses or as house plants, valued for their striking foliage.
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