Annual croton: Texas croton

Croton texensis (Klotzch) Muell. Arg.

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)


Like the other native, annual crotons, Texas croton has an aromatic smell when the leaves are crushed. It varies from 1 foot to 4 feet tall, depending on moisture conditions.

The leaves are grayish to yellowish green and may be lighter on top and darker beneath. They areusually entire or without lobes or teeth and are located alternately along the stems. Each leaf is attached to the stem by a small stalk called a petiole.

The flowers are arranged in spikes at the ends of the stems. The fruit of Texas croton is a capsule divided into three segments supporting three individual seeds.

Texas croton produces a seed crop that is very valuable to dove, quail and other seed-eating birds but has low value for livestock grazing.


Texas croton grows on calcareous soils, sandy loam soils and loose sands. It can occur in great abundance and is generally associated with soil disturbance, lack of soil cover or overgrazing.