Croton verreauxii (EUPHORBIACEAE) Native Cascarilla

Plants to Plant

Large shrub or small tree to 6 metres in dry rainforest and along the interface between rainforest and eucalypt forest from Illawarra, NSW to Gympie, Queensland and close to Darwin, Northern Territory. Relatively smooth branchlets with only a few scattered hairs and scales. Leaves are soft, hairless, thin and green above and below and are distinctly finely toothed along the margins. Small yellow-green flowers in November to January which are followed by globular orange-brown capsule fruit, ripe March to July. Similar to Croton insularis in that the older leaves on the plant turn red orange before dropping and the bark emits a pleasant odour when injured. Relatively commonly encountered in local rainforest remnants, especially along the exposed, sunnier edges of the forest where it acts as a pioneer species. Its name refers to J.P. Verreaux, a botanical collector from 19th century Tasmania.

Photo: Robert Whyte