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Beach-tea, Gulf croton
Croton punctatus
Euphorbiaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also an accent shrub in coastal uplands.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

A somewhat rare element of beach dunes and coastal strand.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small, dense shrubby herb. Leaves greenish with a silvery cast, to 2 inches long.
Dimensions:
Typically 1-3 feet in height. As broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to slow.
Range:
Southern United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties; Cuba, Mexico, Central America and northern South America.
Habitats:
Open coastal uplands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Frontline; grows in direct salt wind but away from constant salt spray.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
White.
Flower Characteristics:
Inconspicuous. Fragrant. Unisexual, with male flowers above and female below, clustered toward the ends of the stems.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous capsule.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed and cuttings.


 


Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann