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Scientific Name
   Codiaeum Variegatum
  Family    Euphorbiaceae


Belonging to the core Euphorbiaceae in subfamily Crotonoideae, crotons or Codiaeum Variegatum consists of more than 750 species. Native to tropical areas of Malaysia, southern Asia and Pacific Islands, these easy growing houseplant have bright coloured foliage, often many colors in one leaf. The uniqueness of this plant is their colourful glossy foliage in varying shapes and sizes. This evergreen shrub, very popular for growing indoors as well as outdoor, are best suited to greenhouses or sun rooms. Some crotons are large and used as hedges or specimen plants. They also grow well in containers

Crotons can reach upto a height of 5-6 feet to 12 feet. Depending on the specific variety, there leaves have many interesting shapes and most varieties have large, often 6 inches wide and almost a foot long leaves. A few varieties offer narrower, wavy leaves and some offer unusual leaves shaped like oak leaves and semi oak shaped with vaguely lobed leaves. And then there are those with leaves that offer all the color, sizes and shapes that are also incredibly wrinkly or curled. 

Rare varieties with leaves that curl back on themselves and where leaf blade stops in between with the mid rib continuing to around 1" can also be seen. The leaves are leathery and start out green and gradually change color as it matures. The multi-colored leaves ranges from vibrant yellows, oranges, shades of reds to purple and some incredible shades of green. Variegated patterns include spots, stripes, streaks, blotches, etc. 

There are several hundred cultivars, popular among them are 'Spirale' which has spirally-twisted red and green leaves; 'Andreanum' which has broadly oval yellow leaves with gold veins and margins; 'Majesticum' which has 10" long linear leaves with midrib veins yellow maturing to red; and 'Aureo-maculatum' which has leaves spotted with yellow.
 

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