Croton sylvaticus

Invasive species Disclaimer

In view of the fact that some tree species are invasive, the world Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) has put in place a policy document on Invasive Alien Species, currently under draft available at Here.

For more information on this subject, please refer to
100 of the World's worst Invasive and Alien Species.




Species Index    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Multiple Criteria Search


Abelmoschus moschatus
Acacia aneura
Acacia angustissima
Acacia aulacocarpa
Acacia auriculiformis
Acacia catechu
Acacia cincinnata
Acacia crassicarpa
Acacia elatior
Acacia erioloba
Acacia etbaica
Acacia ferruginea
Acacia glauca
Acacia holosericea
Acacia karroo*
Acacia koa
Acacia laeta
Acacia lahai
Acacia leptocarpa
Acacia leucophloea
Acacia mangium
Acacia mearnsii*
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia mellifera
Acacia nilotica subsp nilotica
Acacia pachycarpa
Acacia pennatula
Acacia polyacantha ssp. polyacantha
Acacia saligna
Acacia senegal
Acacia seyal
Acacia sieberiana
Acacia tortilis
Acacia xanthophloea
Acrocarpus fraxinifolius
Adansonia digitata
Adenanthera pavonina
Aegle marmelos
Afzelia africana
Afzelia quanzensis
Agathis macrophylla
Agathis philippinensis
Ailanthus altissima
Ailanthus excelsa
Ailanthus triphysa
Albizia adianthifolia
Albizia amara
Albizia anthelmintica
Albizia chinensis
Albizia coriaria
Albizia ferruginea
Albizia gummifera
Albizia julibrissin
Albizia lebbeck
Albizia odoratissima
Albizia procera
Albizia saman
Albizia versicolor
Albizia zygia
Aleurites moluccana
Allanblackia floribunda
Allanblackia stuhlmannii
Allanblackia ulugurensis
Alnus acuminata
Alnus cordata
Alnus japonica
Alnus nepalensis
Alnus rubra
Alphitonia zizyphoides
Alstonia boonei
Alstonia congensis
Alstonia scholaris
Altingia excelsa
Anacardium occidentale
Andira inermis
Annona cherimola
Annona muricata
Annona reticulata
Annona senegalensis
Annona squamosa
Anogeissus latifolia
Anthocephalus cadamba
Antiaris toxicaria
Antidesma bunius
Araucaria bidwillii
Araucaria cunninghamii
Arbutus unedo
Areca catechu
Arenga pinnata
Argania spinosa
Artemisia annua
Artocarpus altilis
Artocarpus camansi
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Artocarpus integer
Artocarpus lakoocha
Artocarpus mariannensis
Asimina triloba
Ateleia herbert-smithii
Aucomea klaineana
Averrhoa bilimbi
Averrhoa carambola
Azadirachta excelsa
Azadirachta indica
Azanza garckeana
Related Links

Local names:
Afrikaans (boskoorsbessie), English (woodland croton,forest fever berry), Xhosa (umfeze,umagwaqane), Zulu (umzilanyoni,umhloshazane,ugebeleweni,indulambahlozi)

Croton sylvaticus is a tree growing up to 30 m tall, with a dense spreading crown, bole straight, up to 1 m in diameter. Bark smooth on young branches; stems grey, roughly fissured and strongly aromatic.

Leaves simple, broadly ovate, alternate, smooth and dark green; 3-5 nerved, leaf margin shallowly toothed; leaf tip acuminate, base cuneate, rounded or subcordate, 5-15 cm long and up to 10 cm wide. Leaf stalk 10 cm long with 2 prominent knob-like glands at junction of stalk and leaf blade.

Flowers 3 mm long, cream coloured; placed on long terminal inflorescences up to 20 cm long, male flowers at top and female flowers at lower part of inflorescence. Male flowers are petalled.

Fruit a 3-seeded short stalked capsule; 1 cm long, surface slightly warted and salmon orange.

The scientific names summed up mean the ‘woodland croton’.

Ecology

C. sylvaticus is normally found in coastal forest, evergreen woodland and stream banks.

Native range
Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda

Tree management

The growth rate of the forest fever tree is very fast, about 1.5 m/ year. Prefers deep shade conditions but can even survive full sunlight. The tree is vulnerable to cold wind, if planted in cold areas young plants must be protected against cold winds and frost for the first two seasons. Transplanting should normally be done at the 2-leaf stage.

The seeds take 14-21 days to germinate. Germination is even.

C. sylvaticus is normally found in coastal forest, evergreen woodland and stream banks.

Direct seeding is preferred, the seeds are sown in a mixture of sand and compost (1:2) then covered lightly with fine compost and kept moist.

Poison:  The bark is used as fish poison.

The fruits are very popular with birds and can be promising as poultry feed.

The wood is excellent fuel, burning even when green.

Timber:  Wood yellowish-white, streaked, soft, light and easily worked.

Shade or shelter:  C. sylvaticus is an important shade tree, the Venda name “muima-vanda” means ‘stand in courtyard’, however planting should not be very close to buildings because of its rather weak root system.

Medicine:  The root is a remedy for indigestion whereas the bark is used for chest problems and rheumatism. Leaves made into a poultice to treat pleurisy. In Kenya tree parts are used to treat malaria.

Ornamental:  C. sylvaticus is a beautiful shade tree suitable for avenues, parks and gardens.

Poles used in fence construction.