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Croton is unique in many respects culture. In the photo, Croton amazes with the magnificence of colors and the variety of leaf shapes. It is difficult to believe that the foliage of plants within one species can be elongate-lanceolate, rounded and pointed-elliptical, three-toed or oval. And where have you seen the leaves on living and healthy trees and shrubs curled or turned into a regular spiral?
If on other ornamental cultures such behavior of foliage would be considered a manifestation of the disease or the consequences of the encroachment of pests, then for croton, a motley codiae, as this species is properly called, this is surprising, but the norm.
Many-sided Croton or Codiae Motley
In eastern India and in several regions of southeast Asia, 17 species of codiam were found and described. But only Codiaeum variegatum attracted the attention of lovers of ornamental crops. However, in the environment of flower growers around the world, it was not the correct species name, but the name Croton, botanists, attributed to a plant of a completely different appearance and origin.
The perennial evergreen plant has an upright, branching stem covered with large dense foliage. Once in favorable conditions, in nature or at home, the croton can grow up to 3–4 meters, but it is unlikely to see such a giant grown in a pot. Most often, room crotons, as in the photo, are much smaller and do not exceed 50–100 cm in height.
Leathery large leaves of croton cannot be forgotten due to the variety of colors that unexpectedly coexist on leafyplates and retain brightness throughout the year, regardless of the season. Moreover, in most of the varieties, as in the presented photo of the croton, contrastingly defined veins stand out clearly on the leaves.
The unique gamma and variety of foliage forms is the main attractive force that made the motley codiaum or croton one of the most popular indoor plants in the world.
Croton flower: Cinderella at the royal ball
At the same time, not all growers can say that they have seen croton blooms. Although the inflorescences of this plant can not argue with foliage neither the size nor the shape nor the brightness of shades, but they are also worthy of attention. Leaky racemes form in the axils of the leaves and combine 1.5–2 dozen small whitish flowers. Croton flowers are divided into male and female specimens, opening at the same time, but located on different inflorescences.
The first ones are easily recognized by the presence of small bent petals and fluffy stamens, thanks to which they look like small pompons.
But female croton flowers, as in the photo, are hardly noticeable and unattractive, like Cinderella, who lost her shoe and glittering royal castle lights.
Croton classification: photos of varieties and varieties of
All cultivated species of crownia under room conditions are numerous hybrid forms belonging to the same botanical species Codiaeum variegatum, which among other plant communities can rightfully be considered unique. This becomes clear if we consider representatives of this Croton species in the photo.
Not only are such images literally stunned by the riot of tropical colors, but they also surprise by the variety of sheet plate shapes. It is on the latter basis that the modern classification of the crotons is maintained. In addition to plants with oval, oblong-lanceolate or pointed-elliptical leaves, at the disposal of flower growers today there are more bizarre varieties and hybrids.
Three-lobed, trilobium, and lobed, croton lobatum forms large leaves into three parts, resembling in shape the leaves of oak or fig. There are also more exotic species with strongly separated or narrowed lateral blades. An example of a three-lobed form is the well-known growers of the Croton variety Ekselent with decorative variegated foliage.
A very popular among the gardeners is the narrow-leaved, or angustifolium, form of croton. The plants have long, linear foliage growing to 20–40 cm, decorated with lots of green spots scattered over a dark green background. An example of such a croton flower in the photo clearly demonstrates the unique appearance of the plant.
The appendage-like or appendiculatum form of a croton leaf, as in the photo, can be considered one of the most amazing in the plant world. The ovoid or lancet-shaped leaf plate, tapering towards the apex, turns into a similarity to the second cutting, which after some interval expands again, forming the continuation of the leaf plate.
Such croton plants, as in the photo, have predominantly green foliage, but there are variegated specimens.
Always cause a lot of surprise and admiration of a plant with unusual curly foliage.
In this photo croton varieties of crispum can have completely different sizes and colors, from spotty yellow-green to purple, pink, purple or almost black.
Another unique creation of nature - the spiral form of a variety. Spirale subspecies cultivated plants have elongated linear leaves that are gradually twisted around the central vein in a spiral. The color and degree of twist from plant to plant vary significantly.
Croton plants of volutum form acquire an unusual round shape. Their foliage is strongly curved along the central vein so that all the tips of the leaves are turned into the crown.