Croton persimilis Müll.Arg.Linnaea 34: 116 1865. (syn: Croton boragatch Roxb. ex Wall. [Invalid]; Croton elaeocarpifolius Wall. [Invalid]; Croton oblongifolius Roxb. [Illegitimate]; Croton roxburghii N.P.Balakr. [Illegitimate]; Croton virbalae M.R.Almeida; Oxydectes oblongifolia Kuntze);
Indian Subcontinent to China (S. Yunnan) and Indo-China: Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China South-Central, East Himalaya, India, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam as per POWO;

Malayalam Somaraaji, Koteputol, Thomarayam, Pongalam
Small trees; bark grey or brownish; young shoots covered with minute orbicular silvery scales.
Leaves simple, alternate, spiral, turning red before falling; 11-23 x 3.5-7.5 cm; elliptic, obovate, elliptic-obovate, elliptic-oblanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, base acute or cuneate, apex acute, margin more or less crenate or young, coriaceous; lateral nerves 8-13 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent, intercostae reticulate, prominent; stipules lateral; petiole 15-40 mm long, stout, slightly grooved above, swollen at tip and base, silver lepidote scales present.
Flowers unisexual, pale yellowish-green, solitary or fascicled in the axils of minute bracts on long erect often fascicled racemes, the males in the upper part of the raceme, the females in the lower part; male flowers: pedicels of variable length, slender; sepals 5, ovate, obtuse; petals elliptic-lanceolate, obtuse, woolly; stamens 12, inflexed in bud; lower half of the filaments hairy; female flowers: pedicels short, stout; sepals 5, ovate, acute, ciliate; petals 5, obovate, margin densely woolly; ovary 3-celleed, ovule 1 in each cell; styles 3, each again divided into 2 longer slender curled branches.
Fruit a capsule, subglobose, depressed, slightly 3-lobed, lepidote scaly; seeds 3.     
Flowering and fruiting: March-June
Scrub forests, also in the plains





Attached images may be Croton persimilis Mull.Arg. emend. Philcox or C. joufra Roxb. Please validate.
Date :09.03.2013 & 09.11.13
Location: Kamrup district, Assam
Family : Euphorbiaceae

Most up to date nomenclature.

Please look at the size of the fruits here which are much smaller than Croton joufra.


ID request- 22023014- PKA-Feb49 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments(5).

Tree for ID.
Location: Mumbai (Veer Jijamata Udyan)
Dt/Time: 16-02-2014 / 1:50PM

? Croton oblongifolius

As per …, this could be Croton tiglium..

Yes. it is Croton persimilis Mull. Arg. emend. Philcox and C. oblongifolius Roxb. is a synonym.


Tree For ID : Jijamata Udyan,Mumbai : 120714 : AK-22 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2).
A very old picture of mine, taken at the garden in May,2007.

Suggested name long ago was Jamaal Gota.
I am not very sure.

It is a Croton sp. [Euphorbiaceae].
This particular specimen, possibly the only one in Mumbai, was identified as Croton oblongifolius Roxb. by RR Fernandez, and it has been documented as such in his PhD thesis on the Flora of Bombay (1959). 
Recently, it was identified as Croton tiglium L. during the survey conducted in October 2010 by Dr Marselin Almeida & his students.
The leaves are akin to C. oblongifolius, now known as C. persimilis Müll.Arg. 

Thanks for the id, details and additional information.
Since I had only one picture, it was lying unid all these years.
Now since I know its the only tree in Mumbai, let me take some more better pictures during next visit.

Our side Amaltas seeds are known as Jamalgota.

Could you kindly go through and validate?
It could be the same Croton persimilis Mull.Arg. emend. Philcox.?
Is Jamalgota the same?

Yes. This is typical Croton persimilis (= C. oblongifolius Roxb.).  The name Jamalgota is attributed to Croton tiglium, which has thin ovate to elliptic leaves and much larger fruits.

Thanks a lot for validating this Croton Species from Jijamata Udyan, Mumbai.

Many thanks, …, for sharing your observations in this and in the other thread as well.
Over the last year, I have come across a few mature individuals of this plant (cultivated) both in North & in South Mumbai. These were also present when the Rani Bagh survey was conducted by Dr Almeida & his team in 2010. It is uncommon in Mumbai but the specimen in Rani Bagh has certainly not been the only one in the city after all.
Will share my photographs of this tree in a separate thread.

Tree For ID : MNP,Mumbai : 240116 : AK-5 : 05/05 : 15 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (2)
A young sapling of a tree at Maharashtra Nature Park.
No flowers or fruits.
Pictures taken on 15th April, 2015.

Adding more pictures. Attachments (4)

It looks like Ghansar [Croton virbalaie previously C. oblongifolius].

What about Tecoma castanifolia?

Tecoma castanifolia is known to me.
These leaves are much larger.
…, Dy Director of the park had got the sapling of this tree from the forest.
He promised me he will give the name but I have not been able to see him for quite a while.
I will check with him when I see him next.

My attention was drawn when … suggested the id Croton virbalae, previously C. oblongifolius.

The leaves are indeed similar to that. Just looks at the young parts and see whether there are lepidote scales. If not then look at the undersurface of the leaves, at the junction of petiole and lamina. There will be two tiny sessile orbicular glands, if it is a Croton.
Let me inform that Croton virbalae is a superfluous illegitimate name, applied for C. oblongifolius Roxb. and if the above characters as mentioned are present, the correct name will be Croton persimilis Mull.Arg. emend. Philcox.
It is called Ganasura or Gunsur or Ghansar in Marathi.

Thanks for looking into my post and all the details given.
I will positively click more pictures during my next visit.
In the meanwhile, adding a cropped picture.
Attachments (1)

The young unfolded leaves are possibly having these dandruff – like scales on the lower surface which I wanted to see. But presence of glands are not clear. Please visit there at leisure and see for yourself on the lower surface of the leaves at the junction of petiole and lamina – a pair of small yellowish or brownish circular glands will be there. You may need a hand lens to look at these.
I am more or less sure of the identity due to my prior acquaintance but please confirm.
Here is a publication on the species.
Attachments (1) – Croton persimilis.pdf- 1 MB

-Thank you for the details and the pdf
Your questions about the under-surface of th4e leaf is well taken,
that’s why it’s sooo very important to take pictures of  the under-surface of the leaf. and the other features as you mentioned.
We all learned something very useful today.

My photographs of Ghansar. Attachments (5)

Note the lepidote scales and a pair of glands at the junction of petiole and lamina on the lower surface of the leaves.
Yes, this is Croton persimilis Mull.Arg. emend. Philcox (synonyms: C. oblongifolius Roxb,, nom. illeg.; C. roxburghii N.P.Balakr., nom. illeg.; C. virbalae M.R.Almeida, nom. superfl.).

Sharing some images of the infant and the mature leaves of Croton persimilis, a small tree, cultivated in South Mumbai.
The sessile gland on either side of the base of the midrib on the undersurface (mentioned by … in an earlier thread) is minute and inconspicuous. These glands and the lepidote scales on the underside of the leaves are relatively easier to notice in the young leaves. The petioles are also covered in scurfy scales. In a few mature leaves, I noticed that the midrib tends to come off towards the apex on the underside (as seen in the last image).
Leaf size is variable; largest leaf seen on this tree: 35.8 cm x 10.8 cm (incl. petiole of 2.8 cm).
Photographed yesterday in the campus of RA Podar Medical College (Ayurvedic) in Worli, South Mumbai. Thanks are due to Dr Bipin Dhalpe for his encouragement and for allowing complete, unhindered access to the fascinating plants in the campus.

Thank you very much. The mature plants will contain scales only on inflorescence axis, sepals, ovary and fruits.

Thanks, …, for your kind comments. Am sending the photographs of the fruits in a separate email.


Sharing some images of the bark and of the fruits of Croton persimilis, a small tree, cultivated in South Mumbai.
Self-sown seeds germinate quite well, as is evident from the number of seedlings that have sprouted in the undergrowth.
Photographed yesterday (6.4.16) in the campus of RA Podar Medical College (Ayurvedic) in Worli, South Mumbai.

Thanks, …, for these wonderful details.

very nice. do you have the whole plant or the tree? does its habit look like other variegated crotons?

As mentioned in my post, it is a small tree (c. 16 feet tall). Do not have a good photo of the entire tree at the moment.
Variegated crotons [Codiaeum variegatum] are usually bushy shrubs cultivated in gardens, hedges etc.


ID this tree kindly.. : 11 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)
no flower fruit is observed from last 2 years amlost.. can any one give just genus level idea?

its from Lahore, Pakistan.. planted in a botanical garden

No information on where this was seen?
I can only make a “wild” guess: I think it might be Croton roxburghii Roxb. (the name might have changed) or something related to it in the Euphorbiaceae. The margins are much more crenulate than I remember for this species, but it can vary…
Could you please include some information in future about where exactly the plant has been seen? It helps a great deal in identification!

Sir plant is planted in the botanical garden of Punjab university, Lahore Pakistan..

no one knows its name there actually.. some person told me its Croton sp but not sure about its species, that’s why i posted in this gruop .. thank you

Ah, strange, because I’m not sure it’s reported from that region.
If it’s what I think it is, I’ve only seen one specimen in Sundar Nursery – now gone – several years ago. I can check, but I seem to remember that it’s native to forests in the Oudh, Gonda, Bahraich region. Interesting tree!

I checked on google..its looks really similar to Croton oblongifolius.. Synonym of Croton roxburghii.. the photo in this link is totally match with my plant leaves.. kindly see it and help me further.. thank you
Google Images

and this is the photo which i captured in 2015.. from the ground.. Numerous seedling like young leaves were growing near the trunk of that tree.. so this photo is very much similar to Croton obllonigolius.. Kindly suugest me further for identification confirmation

I was waiting for the locality. Yes. This is Croton persimilis once again.

Sharing images of Croton persimilis, the Croton Tree seen earlier at Lalbagh, Bangalore.

The name Croton persimilis (described in 1865 by Mueller) represents a mixture of two species. However, after its lectotypification (Chakrabarty & Balakrishnan, 2016), this name is now applicable for the present images.

Interestingly nobody noticed that the name of this plant was so far and going as Croton virbalae M.R. Almeida (2003) used as a new name for Croton oblongifolius Roxb. After the above mentioned lectotypification in 2016, Croton persimilis is now the earliest valid name for the species.

I am writhing this message as there has been an interesting development regarding the nomenclature of the images posted by you.  According to Esser in Thai Forest Bulletin 45(1): 26. 2017, the correct name for this species is Croton mangelong Y.T. Chang, a Chinese element distributed in South East Asia to India.
I am, however, not happy with this name and I have to publish a short paper clarifying the correct nomenclature involved with the name Croton oblongifolius described by Roxburgh in 1832.  In this context I need your help. I need good images of this species as well as Croton joufra, a closely related species. I have good images of the latter (C. joufra). It might be possible for you to send high resolution images of the excellent photographs posted by you here, particularly the second and last images.  Please help in the interest of the subject.

Will do the needful.

Thank you very much for this help. I will duly acknowledge your help in my paper and will send you a copy of the same.
I am now writing to the Geneva herbarium for permission to reproduce the image of the type specimens of Croton persimilis.

You are always welcome to use any of my images when required.
Since I won’t be doing anything further with them.

Hope you are fine. I posted in 2016 regarding a tree planted in botanical garden lahore for identification. … identified it as Croton roxburghii and you identified it as Croton persimilis. I am sharing the link for your ease to remember.
Can you please confirm about its accurate name please? I read the previous threads on this flora google group and got more confused. To me, It matches best with C. oblongifolius or C.roxburghii in google images which you also said that these all are synonyms but C. persimilis looks different to me. I am sharing again these photos with you and need your guidance about the correct accepted name of this tree.

Croton mangelong Y.T. Chang.
Reference: Esser in Thai Forest Bull. (Bot.) 45(1): 26. 2017.
=Croton oblongifolius Roxb. (1832), nom. illeg., non Delile, 1813.

Thanks, …, Should I put all our posts at Croton persimilis under Croton mangelong Y.T. Chang with synonymy as per WCSP ?

No need to change the name Croton persimilis.
Please look at the attachment at he highlighted portion. We have published a paper a few days ago. Here we have shown that Croton persimilis is the earliest legitimate name for Roxburgh’s illegitimate Croton oblongifolius.
However, the publishers, Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany has become a predatory journal and they have demanded hefty amount from me for sending the reprints.
I have decided to pay but this is the last payment they will get from me. Enough is enough.
Attachments (1)

Croton persimilis Müll.-Arg. in Linnaea 34: 116. 1865; Philcox in Dassan. & Clayton, Rev. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 11: 92. 1997; Chakrab. & N.P. Balakr. in J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 30(2): 298, f. 1. 2006 & in N.P. Balakr. et al., Fl. India 23: 240. 2012 & in J. Econ. Taxon. Bot.40(1–2): 39. 2016.
Type (lectotype, designated by Chakrabarty &Balakrishnan, 2016): SRI LANKA, Thwaites s.n., CP [Ceylon Plants] 2114 (G00312052: image!. Isolectotypes:CAL – 2 sheets!, G00434428: image!, K000260046: image!). Residual syntype: INDIA, Meghalaya, Khasi Hills, J.D. Hooker & T. Thomson s. n. (G00312054: image!).
= Croton oblongifolius Roxb. [Hort. Bengal. 104. 1814,nom. nud.] Fl. Ind., ed. Carey 3: 685. 1832, non Delile, 1813. C. roxburghii N.P. Balakr. in Bull. Bot. Surv. India 3: 39. 1962, non Wall., 1840. C. virbalae M.R. Almeida in Fl. Maharashtra 4B: 300. 2003,“virbalaie”.
Type (lectotype designated by Chakrabarty & Balakrishnan, 2016): INDIA, Roxburgh s.n. (BM000754910!; Residual syntypes: INDIA, Roxburgh s.n.(A00106968: image!, BR0000006993900: image!, K000246823: image!).
Note: Esser (2017) designated the above herbarium specimen as the lectotype of this name. But, in this case, the designation by Chakrabarty & Balakrishnan (2016) takes precedence.
= Croton mangelong Y.T. Chang in Guihaia 3(3): 172.1983, syn. nov.; Esser in Thai Forest Bull., (Bot.)45(1): 26. 2017.
Type: CHINA, Yunnan, Gengma, Mangelong, 560 m,Y.F. Li 2179 (Holotype KUN0394768: image!).
= Croton laevigatus Wall. [Numer. List No. 7735 A. 1847, nom. nud.].
Croton laevigatus auct. non Vahl (1791): Govaerts et al., World Checkl. Bibliogr. Euphorb. 467. 2000.


Baliospermum SN13422: 1 high res. image.
Baliospermum, wild shrub from sal forest of Hazaribag area jharkhand

Croton persimilis.


Euphorbiaceae: Croton persimilis Müll.Arg.: 1 image.
synonyms: Croton oblongifolius Roxb., Croton roxburghii N.P.Balakr.
location/date: University of Agricultural Sciences campus, Bangalore, July 1997





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