Country of origin: Peru
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and the western Pacific Ocean islands, growing in open forests and scrub. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3m tall and has large, thick, leathery, shiny evergreen leaves, alternately arranged. Male and female flowers are arranged on separate stems, the male flowers being white with five small petals and 20–30 stamens, and the female flowers yellowish, with no petals. The fruit is a capsule 9 mm diameter, containing three seeds. The stems contain milky sap that bleeds from cut stems, which along with the bark, roots and leaves, is poisonous and an irritant to the skin.