Annual croton: Woolly croton

Croton capitatus Michx.

Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)


Twenty croton species occur in Texas. Of these, nine species are annuals. Woolly croton is a native, warm-season annual with star-shaped hairs on the surfaces of the leaves and stems.

Each leaf is attached to the stem by a stalk, called a petiole. The leaves have no lobes, are usually entire and are located alternately along the stem. They have an aromatic smell when crushed.

The flowers are arranged in spikes at the ends of the stems. The fruit is a capsule that has three segments supporting three individual seeds.

Woolly croton produces seeds that are very valuable to dove, quail and other seed-eating birds but are of low value for livestock grazing.


When these plants are abundant, they are generally associated with soil disturbance, lack of soil cover or overgrazing.