Croton persimilis ?;




This species had huge nomenclatural dispute from the era of Roxburgh! Basically this species is Croton persimilis Muell. Arg. Croton oblongifolius Roxb. (Fl. Ind. ed. Carey, 3: 685. 1832) is an illegitimate later homonym ( non Delile 1814, nec Siebr. ex Spreng. 1826). A new name C. roxburghii N.P. Balakr. in Bull. Bot. Surv. India 3: 39. 1962 (nom. illegit.) was proposed for it which also becomes a later homonym (non C. roxburghii Wall. 1840). C. persimilis Muell.-Arg. described from Sri Lanka. The two species(Croton oblongifolius Roxb. And C. roxburghiiN.P. Balakr.) are merged and thus C. persimilis Muell.-Arg. becomes the valid name for this widespread species of’ great medicinal importance.
Diagnostic characters: Trees or Shrubs, 2–20 m high, deciduous;leaves oblong, elliptic to obovate; inflorescences sub-erect to drooping; male flowers pedicelled, sepals 5; petals 5; spathulate to oblong, stamens 10-15; anthers oblong, yellow; female flowers pedicelled, sepals 5; petals 5, spathulate; styles usually bifid; fruits globose to subglobose.

Have this on my property at Shahapur. According to Dr.Almeida’s ‘Flora of Maharashtra’ the new name is Croton virbalae Almeida [nom.nov.]. The local name is Ghansar. Sending a few photographs (3 images) to showcase the leaves.

I believe Dr Almeida has named this Croton after one of his teachers – Virbala Shah – who held a special interest in medicinal plants. The specific name is spelt as Croton virbalae.

Without seeing a close up of the leaves (both sides), I can not decide whether it is Croton persimilis Mull.Arg. emend. Philcox or C. joufra Roxb.