Codiaeum variegatum var. pictum 

(co-dee-aa' um va-ree-e-gah' tum pic' tum)

Common name: Croton, Variegated Laurel

Family: Euphorbiaceae, Spurge

Height x width: 2-6' x 1-3' indoors (depending on cultivars), larger as a zone 10 shrub

Foliage: alternate, linear to ovate (or various) 4-8" long, leathery, brightly variegated usually green, yellow, red or white combinations

Flowers: tiny, star-shaped, yellow in axillary racemes, insignificant

Light: bright

Temperature: warm

Watering: moderate

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: humid

Soil: average, well-drained

Pests and Problems: root rots, leaf spots, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs; leaf fall from too cool, too wet or too dry

Growth habit, uses: foliage for color

Other interest: native to Southeast Asia; from the name in native habit of kodiho; sap may cause skin irritation

Other culture: not adaptable to other than prefered conditions

Propagation: seed, softwood cutting (bleeding of sap may be stopped by dusting with charcoal), air layering


A few representative are listed below.
Cultivar height foliage
'Andreanum' 3' oval, copper flushed turning red, yellow veins/edges
'Baronne de Rothschild' 5' ovate, green and yellow maturing red, hybrid
'Commotion' 2-4' oval, bluish and bright green with pink, yellow, red
'Evening Embers' 5-6' oval, bluish black, red and green marks, red veins
'Flamingo' 3-6' ovate, creamy veins, turning yellow then red, hybrid
'Imperiale' 3' elliptic, yellow turning orange, red with green midrib
'Majesticum' 3' linear, deep green turning crimson, yellow midribs
'Mrs. Iceton' 3' oval, blackish-green, yellow interveinal, aging red 
'Sunrise' 3' narrow lanceolate, turning orange-red, yellow veins
'Tortile' 3' ribbon-like, spirally twisted, green with orange-red

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | PSS121 course