Common Names: Cascarilla
Habit: Croton eluteria
grows as a shrub to small tree up to four meters in height. The
young stems are covered with brown lepidote scales. The leaves are
arranged alternately, have an ovate shape and are up to eight
centimeters in length. The leaves are covered with silvery brown
lepidote scales on the lower side as well as pellucid punctate
The flowers are arranged in axillary or
terminal racemes. The flowers are either staminate or carpellate
occurring on separate individuals (Dioecious). Staminate flowers
have five unfused sepals in the calyx, five unfused petals in the
corolla, eight to twelve stamens and no carpel. Carpellate flowers
have five unfused sepals in the calyx, five unfused white petals in
the corolla and no stamens. The fruit is a three parted capsule.
Habitat: Croton eluteria
grows on a limestone substrate in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations
(Coppice) most typically in Shrublands.
Distribution in Bahamas/Globally:
Croton eluteria occurs throughout the islands of the Bahamas,
the Caribbean region, Mexico and South America. It has been
transported to Nigerai where it is cultivated for bark production.
Croton eluteria is used medicinally to treat issues of
appetite, coughs, diarrhea, flu, indigestion, stomach pain, and to
prevent vomiting. The bark and leaves can be used as an inhalant to
clear sinuses and the leaves are used in bath water to refresh the
body. The bark of Croton eluteria is also used as a flavoring
of the liquor Campari.