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Beach-tea, Gulf croton
Croton punctatus

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Other data on Croton punctatus available from:

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