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Italy: see CrotonaCrotona
, Croton,
or Kroton
, ancient city, S Italy, on the east coast of Bruttium (now Calabria), a colony of Magna Graecia founded c.708 B.C. There Pythagoras established his school, which exerted a notable political and moral influence.
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(krō`tən), any of several species of Codiaeum that are widely cultivated as ornamentals and houseplants. The most popular species is C. variegatum, which has many cultivated forms of highly colored variegated leaves. Croton is also used as the common name for all species of the genus Croton, some of which are used as medicinals. These include C. tiglium, the source of croton oil, a purgative, and "sangre de grado," C. lechleri, an important folk medicine in western Amazonia. C. megalocarpus, a tree of E and central Africa that has historically been grown for shade, firewood, and fence posts, is being explored as a source of biofuel; the oil cake remaining after pressing the seeds for oil may be used for animal feed. Both Croton and Codiaeum are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Euphorbiales, family Euphorbiaceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thomas Edison was such a fan of crotons that for a time his winter residence in Fort Myers was reported to have the largest collection in the country.
Edison's three remaining original crotons were purchased at Reasoner's Tropical Nursery, which had developed several popular hybrids, according to Bob Alonzo, a croton enthusiast who lives in Fort Myers with Robert Halgrim Sr., 99, a family friend and the original curator of Thomas Edison's winter home.
The Croton Society's Web site is receiving inquiries from as far as Angola, and interest in Florida's crotons is great, he reports.
"I couldn't care less about making money on crotons," Lee says.
(Technically, the croton is not a croton but a codiaeum, but that's another story.) First introduced to America in the 1870s by the Henry A.
The Croton Society, which formed in the Tampa area about six years ago, has garnered a following on both coasts.
Finding and identifying old varieties is a priority of the Croton Society and the main reason the group formed.
Over the years, Brown has become a mentor to many croton enthusiasts.
"My father, Bud Reasoner, was a big croton enthusiast," says Andy Reasoner.
Many croton varieties never made it to the catalogues, and many were unnamed.
The Croton Society's Harold Lee has his own theory about the lost hybrids.
For several years now, Alonzo and other members of the Croton Society have been working with Halgrim, Brown, hybridizers and collectors to identify hybrids.