Croton(redirected from Crotons)
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croton, in botany
(modern Italian, Crotone), an ancient Greek city in southern Italy. It was founded at the end of the eighth century B.C. Pythagoras, who founded his school in Croton, lived there in the last third of the sixth century B.C. In 510 B.C., the inhabitants of Croton destroyed the wealthy neighboring city of Sybaris. During the Second Punic War (218–201 B.C.), Croton was occupied by Hannibal; it was later seized by Rome and turned into a Roman colony (194 B.C.).
a genus of plants of the family Euphorbiaceae. They are monoecious or dioecious trees and shrubs; some species are herbs. They have alternate leaves, which are almost always pubescent. The flowers are in apical or axillary racemes. There are over 700 species, distributed in the tropics and, less frequently, subtropics of both hemispheres. The purging croton (Croton tiglium) is widely known. It is a low evergreen tree or shrub, which grows in tropical Asia and is cultivated in many countries. Croton oil is obtained from its extremely poisonous seeds. The species C. eluteria and C. cascarilla are sources of cascarilla, a spicy, aromatic bark used in medicine. Several other species, including C. draco, yield valuable resins. Sometimes the species Codiaeum variegatum, an ornamental of the same family, is called croton.