Plant family: Euphorbiaccae - Spurge
Plant type: Shrub
Plant origin: N/A, California, Floristic Provence of Baja
Coastal Sage Scrub, Coastal Strand, Creosote Bush Scrub
Surf’s up! This native Croton can be found growing in the sand near the beach, as well as amidst the coastal sage scrub and desert regions in Southern and Baja California. Croton californicus, also known as Desert Croton or California Croton, thrives in sandy soils and washes. It is an elegant, somewhat low growing perennial plant, with small oval shaped leaves. The growth habit is upright, with a lacey, open appearance. Tiny hairs cover both sides of the leaf and the stems of this plant, lending it an usually pale silvery sheen. California Croton grows 1’ to 3’, with about the same spread. This native plant needs little supplemental water once established, but may benefit from an occasional dousing in the hottest parts of summer to keep it looking its best. C. californicus flowers between summer and fall, but the yellow blooms are tiny, verging on insignificant. California Croton would add a nice color contrast in a sandy garden alongside plants like sage and sagebrush.
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