Purging Croton
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Purging Croton
P Native Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Purging Croton, Croton oil plant • Assamese: জযপল Joypol • Bodo: Tita baha • Hindi: जमाल गोटा Jamal-gota, जयपाल Jaipal • Kannada: Byaribittu, Danti, Jaapaalada • Malayalam: Katalavanakku, Nirvalam • Manipuri: Jai pambi • Marathi: Arabi-erand, जमाल गोटा Jamalagota, Jepal • Sanskrit: जयपाल Jaipal, Dantibeeja • Tamil: Naervalam, Kattukkattai • Telugu: Nepalamu, Nepalavemu • Urdu: Habb-us-salateen, Jamal gota taza
Botanical name: Croton tiglium    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Croton himalaicus, Croton officinalis, Croton jamalgota, Croton birmanicus

Purging Croton is a treelet up to 7 m tall, with young branches green, sparsely star-shaped-hairy, hairless at maturity. Stipules are subulate, 1.5-4 mm, falling off; leaf-stalk 2.5-6 cm, nearly hairless; leaf blade ovate, ovate-elliptic, or ovate-lanceshaped, 5-15 x 2-7 cm, papery, hairless or becoming hairless, yellowish to brownish when dry, base wedge-shaped or broadly so, rounded, rarely slightly heart-shaped, with discoid glands, margins minutely toothed or nearly entire, tip pointed or tapering, sometimes long tapering or with a tail; basal veins 3, lateral veins 3 or 4. Flowers are borne in racemes at branch-ends, 8-20 cm; bracts subulate, about 2 mm. Male flowers buds are nearly spherical. Female flowers have sepals oblong-lanceshaped, about 2.5 mm, becoming hairless; styles bipartite. Fruit is ellipsoidal, oblong-ovoid, or nearly spherical, 1-2 x 1-2 cm, sparsely star-shaped-hairy or becoming hairless. Seeds are elliptic or oblong-ovate, 8-12 x 6-7 mm, gray-brown. Purging Croton is found in East Himalaya, India and SE Asia. Flowering: January-July.
Medicinal uses: The seed oil contains crotin, tiglic and crotonic acid, and crotonoside, and is very poisonous, being a drastic purgative and often causing pustular eruptions on the skin. The seeds are used to stupefy fish. The root and leaves are used as an external medicine for rheumatalgia and also as an insecticide.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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