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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Lavender Croton / Lavender Fever-berry

Afrikaans name: Laventelkoorsbessie

Leaves of Croton gratissimus

Leaves of the Lavender Croton tree

Photo © Steven Herbert

Croton gratissimus

The Lavender Croton is also known as the Lavender Fever-berry. Like other fever-berry trees it is believed to have medicinal properties but some sources that this tree is toxic and thus potentially harmful.

This tree is found in a variety of habitats and has quite a widespread distribution in South Africa. It is found in the northern and eastern regions of the country and is even more widely distributed beyond our borders.

The Lavender Croton can reach a height of 10 metres. Its rough bark is variable in colour. The leaves are bright green, or olive, on the upper side and silvery underneath. It gets yellow or cream-coloured flowers in the rainy season. The seed-pods are about 1 cm in size and yellow in colour.

The leaves can be dried and crushed to make a powder with a pleasant smell.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Trees of Southern Africa - Author: E. Palmer - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 189

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 130

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 220

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 493

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