Croton macrostachyus. Euphorbiaceae. Hochst. ex Ferret et Galinier. C. macrostachys: A representative tree at. Kakuzi Ranch, Kenya. (Paul K.A. Konuche). Croton macrostachyus Hochst. ex Delile is a species of the genus Croton L., Euphorbiaceae family, commonly known as the spurge family. In Kenya, leaves and roots from Croton macrostachyus are used as a traditional medicine for infectious diseases such as typhoid and measles.

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Email this to a friend Print Share on facebook Tweet this. Showing 0 of 0 comments. Croton macrostachyus 1, leafy twig; 2, inflorescence; 3, infructescence. Redrawn and adapted by Iskak Syamsudin.

Croton macrostachyus tree habit CopyLeft EcoPort. Croton macrostachyus slash, bark and leafy branch. Croton macrostachyus fruiting branch. Riverine, lowland and dry Croton macrostachyus Croton macrostachyus x – 19k – jpg www. Croton macrostachyus View larger image x – 6k – jpg www.

Croton macrostachyus Croton eluteria x – 26k – jpg de. Croton macrostachyus Weighing the leaf packs, Croton macrostachyus Aluka – Croton macrostachyus Hochst. Croton macrostachyus Croton macrostachyus, a target tree Croton macrostachyus Croton macrostachyus x – 84k – jpg www. Croton macrostachyus Liste des plantes pour la lettre Woodland croton, forest fever tree, broad-leaved croton En.

Throughout its distribution area a decoction, infusion or maceration of leaves, stem bark or root bark are taken as a purgative and vermifuge. Leaf sap is used similarly.

The seed oil is a very powerful purgative. In West Africa different plant parts in decoction are taken to treat constipation, stomach-ache and female infertility, and are used externally to treat stitch-like pain in the side and Guinea worm sores. In Ethiopia Croton macrostachyus has many uses.

A leaf extract is applied against itchy scalp. A decoction of the leafy twigs mixed with Justicia schimperiana Hochst. Anderson is taken to treat jaundice and smallpox. The preparation is taken with pepper, butter and milk. An infusion of the leafy branches and roots is used as a mouthwash to treat toothache.

Croton macrostachyus – Useful Tropical Plants

The leaves or young shoots are eaten to treat fever and oedema and mashed leaves are applied to haemorrhoids. A preparation of the seed is instilled into the ear to treat ear problems.

The seeds are poisonous and are used to make fish poison, while crushed seed and leaves in water are taken to treat tapeworm infection; the seed is eaten to induce abortion and a fruit, bark or root decoction or raw fruit is taken to treat venereal diseases. A bark maceration is drunk as an abortifacient and uterotonic, to expel a retained placenta.

These treatments are all considered dangerous. The root or stem bark is chewed to treat toothache, but also rabies. Ripe crushed fruits mixed with butter or honey and ground leaves are applied to skin diseases.

In Kenya the Luhya people lick the ash of burnt leaves as a cough remedy. A leaf decoction is also taken to treat cough and stomach problems.


A root decoction is taken to treat indigestion. The Kikuyu people take a root macrowtachyus to treat malaria; leaf juice is put on wounds to improve blood macrostqchyus, and also to treat sores, warts and ringworm. In Kenya and Tanzania a root infusion is taken to treat intestinal parasites. A decoction of the stem and root bark is used for bathing babies with skin rash.

A bark infusion is taken to treat chest problems and rheumatism. Leaves made into a poultice are externally applied to treat pleurisy. A powder of leaves and twig bark is eaten to calm insanity amcrostachyus possession. In Kenya Croton macrostachyus is commonly planted as a shade tree in villages and in coffee plantations. The wood is used in eastern and southern Africa to make tool handles, small stools, boxes, crates and plywood, as flooring and building material and in carpentry.

The wood is used as fuel that burns even when green, but with a rather unpleasant spicy odour and much smoke; it is also used to make charcoal. Macrsotachyus to its drought hardiness and fast growth, Croton macrostachyus is considered useful macrpstachyus afforestation of shifting sand dunes, degraded waste land, hill slopes, ravines and lateritic soils.

It is also grown as a hedge plant and is suitable for intercropping. In India it has been grown successfully with Azadirachta indica A. In Uganda sheep and goats do not browse young leaves, but old leaves are readily eaten.

In Sudan the leaves are burnt to make vegetable salt. In Ethiopia the leaves are used macroetachyus green manure and fodder. The fruits are very popular with birds and could be used as poultry feed. The flowers are heavily scented and give a dark-amber coloured honey with strong flavour. Croton macrostachyus is widely used in rituals. The seeds also contain several saponins and a resin, which is said to be more toxic to insects than rotenone.

The plant also contains the chalcone crotin. The stem bark and twigs contain lupeol, betulin and several fatty acids. The fruits contain crotepoxide, a cyclohexane diepoxide, macrostzchyus inhibits certain tumours in animal models. Crotepoxide also shows moderate trypanocidal activity against Trypanosoma brucei and Trypanosoma evansii.

Protein fractions from the leaves induced mitogenesis both in human and mouse isolated T cells. Aqueous and alcoholic stem macrostaachyus extracts are toxic when injected intraperitoneally in mice. However, after autopsy no marked pathological changes were recorded. The extracts showed taenicidal activity in volunteers with tapeworm infection.

A hexane extract of macrowtachyus leaves showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilisMicrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro. Root and stem bark extracts showed low antibacterial activities.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

An aqueous root extract showed toxicity in the brine shrimp lethality test. The crude ground seeds showed high molluscicidal activity in vitro. In a field experiment in Ethiopia the decomposition rate of the leaves of Croton macrostachyus was found to be 3 times higher than those of Millettia ferruginea Hochst.

The decomposition rate of naturally shed leaves was only marginally slower than the rate of leaves harvested green.


The wood is moderately soft, perishable and susceptible to attack by wood borers.

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The wood is difficult to saw. In tests, sulphate pulping gave a pulp of moderate strength; the wood can be used to make writing paper or newsprint paper after bleaching, but it is unsuitable crroton the production of wrapping paper. Monoecious or dioecious, deciduous, medium-sized tree up to 25 —30 m tall; bole cylindrical, up to cm in diameter; bark grey to grey-brown, finely fissured and cracked, inner bark pale brown to reddish brown, smell peppery; crown rounded and open with large, spreading branches; young branches densely stellate hairy.

Inflorescence a slender, terminal raceme up to 35 cm long, either with only male or female flowers or male and female flowers variably mixed.

Croton macrostachyus Hochst. ex Delile

Flowers crotpn, 5-merous, regular, yellowish to white, fragrant; male flowers with pedicel 3—10 mm long, calyx campanulate, lobes ovate to triangular, 2. Fruit an almost globular capsule 8—12 mm in diameter, slightly 3-lobed, stellate hairy, apex centrally depressed, whitish to pale greyish brown, 3-seeded.

Seedling with epigeal germination. Croton comprises about species and occurs throughout the warmer regions of the world. It is best represented in the Americas; about 65 species occur in continental Africa and about in Madagascar.

Mature fruits of Croton macrostachyus split open with a sharp noise. In dry regions of West Africa flowering starts at the beginning of the rainy season.

In Nigeria flowering occurs in March—May. Fruit development takes 4—5 months. Pollination is done by insects. The maximum growth rate is about 1. Croton macrostachyus commonly grows in secondary forests, especially on forest edges and along rivers or lakes, in moist or dry evergreen upland forest, woodland, wooded grassland, bushland and along roadsides, often on soils of volcanic origin, at — — m altitude.

The mean annual rainfall varies from to mm. Croton macrostachyus is propagated by macrostacgyus or wildlings. Direct seeding is macrostachyjs, and pre-sowing treatment is not necessary.

The number of seeds macrostacuyus kg is 16, —27, The seeds are sown in a mixture of sand and compost 1: They take 3—8 weeks to germinate. If planted in a nursery, transplanting should be done at the 2-leaf stage. Croton macrostachyus can be lopped, pollarded or coppiced. It grows well both in shade and bright sunlight; it is vulnerable though to cold wind and frost, especially young plants, which should be protected during the first two years.

Croton macrostachyus has a long taproot and numerous side-roots, which makes it adapted to dry climates. In Ethiopia the leaves of Croton macrostachyus are attacked by a leaf spot caused by the fungus Cylindrosporium sp.

The seeds are often croto by insects while still on the tree.