Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Croton phebalioides F.Muell. ex Müll.Arg.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Male and female flowers. © CSIRO
Male and female flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and fruit. © CSIRO
Fruits. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Mueller Argoviensis, J. (1864) Flora oder Allgemeine Botanische Zeitung 47: 485. Type: Queensland, Burdekin River, F. Mueller; holo: K.

Common name

White Croton; Narrow-leaved Croton; Croton, White; Croton, Narrow-leaved


Occasionally grows into a small tree but usually flowers and fruits as a shrub 2-4 m tall.


Leaf blades about 3.5-6 x 1-1.5 cm. Petioles densely clothed in stellate scales. Underside of the leaf blades completely covered in white or silver and brown stellate scales. Scattered oil dots visible with a lens. Stipules very small and inconspicuous.


Male flowers: Flowers about 2 mm diam. with a corolla, sepals clothed in brown stellate hairs or scales and white downy hairs. Petals with woolly hairs towards the apex. Disk clothed in long woolly hairs. Female flowers: Flowers about 3 mm diam. without a corolla. Ovary densely clothed in stellate hairs which obscure it. Ovary with a ring of glands at the base. Stigmas numerous, about 18.


Capsules about 6 mm diam., clothed in stellate hairs or scales, perianth persistent at the base, disintegrating completely at maturity. Caruncle small, white, cream or pale brown. Cotyledons much wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 15-19 x 12-15 mm. First pair of leaves +/- ovate, alternate, margins toothed, underside densely clothed in stellate hairs and scales. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade underside densely clothed in mainly white stellate scales with scattered brown stellate scales. Stipules small and inconspicuous. Stem and petioles clothed in stellate white and brown scales. Leaves aromatic when crushed. Roots aromatic when crushed, the odour resembling that of camphor. Seed germination time 52 to 112 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 600 m. Grows in vine thickets, brigalow scrub, monsoon forest and the drier types of rain forest.

Croton phebalioides Mull.Arg. var. phebalioides, Catalogue of the Woods in the Queensland Court : 109(1888). Croton phebalioides var. typicus Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 880(1928). Croton maidenii R.T.Baker, Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 48: 444(1915), Type: New South Wales, Guthries Mountain (Reads Mine), Paddison s.n.; holo: NSW; Iso: BRI. Croton phebalioides var. acuminatus Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 880(1928), Type: Queensland: no locality, A. Dietrich 2326; syn: PR; Edgecombe Bay, J. Dallachy; syn: K.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.