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Colourful-leaved plant (Codiaeum variegatum) of the spurge family. Native to Malaysia and Pacific islands, it is popular as a houseplant. Its numerous varieties grow as shrubs or small trees with brilliant, glossy, leathery leaves that can be solid in colour or occur in combinations of green, yellow, white, orange, pink, red, crimson, and purple. Another plant of the same family but of a different genus is purging croton (Croton tiglium), a small tree native to Southeast Asia with seeds that yield croton oil.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on croton, visit Britannica.com.