Croton pottsii var. pottsii
Family: Euphorbiaceae
leatherweed
[Croton corymbulosus Engelm.]
Croton pottsii var. pottsii image
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Erect suffrutescent plant 10-50 cm tall with few to many stems from woody base and rootstock, stems, leaves and outer floral parts covered with fine, stellate, slightly lepidote, grayish to silvery pubescence. Leaves: Slender petioles 0.5-2 cm long, tomentulose, blades ovate to oblong, 5-18 mm wide, 1-4.5 cm long, acute to mucronulate at apex, rounded at base, entire, greenish and lepidote-pubescent above, gray to silvery and densely stellate-tomentulose beneath, pinnately 5-9-veined. Flowers: Monoecious, rarely dioecious; on pedicels to 6 mm long, staminate, calyx densely tomentulose without, lobes narrowly deltoid, 1.5-2 mm long, petals spatulate, nearly twice as long as sepals, bearded with slender crisped hairs; 6-18 stamens, filaments villous near base. Fruits: Capsule globose to ovoid 4-7 mm long. Ecology: Found on arid rocky slopes from 2,500-6,000 ft (762-1829 m); flowers March-October. Distribution: s AZ, NM, TX; south to c MEX. Notes: Ours are of var. pottsii. Distinguished by being an often erect perennial, having separate male and female flowers, light gray-green perennial due to dense hairs on surfaces; female inflorescences are of roundish ovaries with three lobes and three stigmas from the tops; these terminal at the tops of plants and emerging from leaf axils, often with many leaves directly below. Ethnobotany: Infusion taken for kidney infections. Etymology: Croton comes from Greek word kroton, meaning a tick, because of the appearance of the seeds. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015