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Croton insularis



Botanical Name

Croton insularis Baill.

Baillon, H.E. (1978) Adansonia 1: 217. Type: Pancher, 1er env., n. 360 N.-Caled., in collibus. Vieillard, 1er env., N.-Caled. Herb. propr. (1855-60), n. 1136, 1137, 1138, Balade.


Croton insularis Baill. var. insularis, Prodromus 15(2.: 527(1866), Type: ?. Croton insularis var. genuinus Mull.Arg., Prodromus 15(2.: 527(1866), Type: ?. Oxydectes insularis (Baill.) Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 2: 612(1891), Type: ?.

Common name

White Croton; Cascarilla Bark; Native Cascarilla Bark; Queensland Cascarilla; Queensland Cascarilla Bark; Silver Croton


Blaze odour fragrant and spicy. White granular stripes normally visible in the outer blaze.


Leaf blades about 5-8 x 2.5-4 cm, +/- white on the underside but peppered with numerous small brown scales. Oil dots visible with a lens. Two raised glands present at the base of the leaf blade at its junction with the petiole.


Inflorescence and calyx clothed in silvery or coppery lepidote scales. Male flowers: Flowers about 3 mm diam. with about 11 or 12 stamens. Female flowers: Flowers about 3 mm diam. Ovary densely clothed in silvery or coppery lepidote scales in the female flowers.


Capsules about 5-7 mm diam., clothed in silvery or coppery lepidote scales.


Cotyledons elliptic, about 8-10 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade white on underside; both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade, young shoots, and stem clothed in flat scales each with a central red gland; 1 or 2 peg-like glands visible near the junction of the petiole and the leaf blade; oil dots visible with a lens.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central New South Wales. Altitudinal range in NEQ from 400-1100 m. In NEQ grows in the drier rain forests, often associated with Kauri Pine (Agathis robusta). Also occurs in Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

Natural History

When injured, the bark gives off a very pleasant aromatic odour resembling that of cascarilla, a West Indian species of Croton whose bark was once was as a tonic. The Australian species has been suggested as a substitute for the West Indian material but there seems to be no record of its being used here. Cribb (1981).





Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)




RFK Code