2. Croton argenteus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2, 1004. 1753. (as argenteum).
Silver July croton Silver July croton
Julocroton argenteus (Linnaeus) Didrichsen
Herbs, annual, 2–12 dm, monoecious. Stems branching once into 2–3 branches, tomentose. Leaves sometimes clustered near inflorescences; stipules linear-subulate, 4–11 mm, unlobed or deeply divided; petiole 0.3–8 cm, glands absent at apex; blade ovate to ovate-oblong, 2–15 × 1.5–8 cm, base obtuse, cuneate, or subtruncate, margins denticulate, apex obtuse to rounded, abaxial surface pale green, not appearing brown-dotted, no stellate hairs with brown centers, densely stellate-hairy, adaxial surface green, less densely stellate-hairy. Inflorescences bisexual, congested racemes, 1–4 cm, staminate flowers 4–10, pistillate flowers 3–6. Pedicels: staminate 2–3 mm, pistillate 1–4 mm (3–5 mm in fruit). Staminate flowers: sepals 5, 1.5–2 mm, abaxial surface stellate-hairy; petals 5, oblong, 2–3 mm, abaxial surface glabrous except margins ciliate; stamens 10–13. Pistillate flowers: sepals 5, unequal, 4–8 mm, margins deeply laciniate, apex incurved, abaxial surface stellate-hairy; petals 0; ovary 3-locular; styles 3, 2–3 mm, 4-fid, terminal segments 12. Capsules 5 × 7 mm, smooth; columella 3-angled. Seeds 3.2–3.8 × 2.4–3 mm, dull.
Flowering Jun–Dec. Disturbed sites, waste areas, levees; 0–50 m; introduced; Tex.; e Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America.
Croton argenteus, which in the flora area is known only from Cameron and Hidalgo counties, may be a fairly recent introduction into the United States; the earliest known collections date from 1923.