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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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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.

References: Miami-Dade County Landscape Manual (2005).

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Cara Abbott, 2023.

Copyright by: Cara Abbott, 2023.

Other data on Croton punctatus available from:

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