Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is a common houseplant cultivated for its eye-catching foliage. It is one of 6 evergreen shrubs and small trees in the Croton genus of the Euphorbiaceae (milkweed) family, native to the western Pacific and tropical Asia.
This evergreen plant varies widely in leaf pattern and color, and wide varieties have been developed. In tropical and subtropical climates, they are often used as landscaped shrubs for spectacular hedges, as striking focal points in gardens, or as potted plants around buildings.
In its natural habitat, the croton is a bushy, branchy shrub that can reach up to 10 feet. The leathery, thick, and large leaves are up to 12 inches long and vary.
The glossy, alternate leaves can be ovate to linear, have a lobed or smooth edge (often cut deeply to the midrib), and are partially twisted or wavy in a spiral. The leaf color varies from bright green to purple, yellow, red, orange, pink, or white in different combinations.
The whitish male flowers with 5 small petals and 20-30 star-shaped stamens appear in separate inflorescences as the yellowish female flowers without petals.