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OK - How Many???

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Dypsisdean, Jul 11, 2009.

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  1. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    All Right you guys. I'm already left way in the dust. But please tolerate a question that has probably been bandied about a bit.

    About how many different types of named crotons are there - dozens, hundreds, or thousands???
     
  2. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,419
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Theoretically, the number is infinite. Crotons have an unstable genetic structure and can mutate or "sport" into almost any shape and color combination. Realistically? I've heard numbers in the thousands, though I've never seen proof. I have around 200 different varieties and my garden is not nearly as extensive as Jeff's collection. He may have a thousand but then there's this...

    Many Crotons will have one color combination in shade and another in the sun. That's not say there aren't different colors of the same named variety - i.e. Yellow Excurrens vs. Red Excurrens or Pink Eburneum vs. Yellow Eburneum - but I've had fellow collectors come to my garden and tell me that such and such a variety is the red form but the one in the sun is the yellow form. Of course, there's no retort when I tell them they were both yellow at one time and then the shade grew in over the more reddish one and it slowly changed color.

    So how many Croton varieties are there? Don't expect an exact number and if you are considering a collection, don't ever expect to find them all!
     
  3. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    I have heard the number of named varieties is around 600 but never stopped to count. Remember that we are dealing with a genetically unstable plant. The number of possible varieties approaches infinity.
    Even experts do not agree on names. I recall Bob Alonzo and John Bender trying to ID a croton in my yard. After a minute of intense discussion, they did agree that it was a nice looking plant and then moved on. Life is too short for some discussions and arguements.
    As noted elsewhere, the same plant can look quite a bit different under different growing conditions especially light.

    Onward through the fog,

    Phil in sunny St. Pete
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Thanks for the info. All of a sudden, palm IDs don't seem all that daunting anymore. :)
     
  5. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,419
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Except that many palms look alike once they get older!
     
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,845
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    True, but when they get older, we have flowers and seeds to differentiate.

    Which brings up another question or two.

    Are there any differences in flowers/seeds between varieties, and does anyone ever do crosses and cultivate from seeds? As I understand it, they are all the same plant really. But if like ti plants, crossing and seed cultivation (while looking for that new special blend) is done a lot.
     
  7. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,419
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    The flowers and seeds are identical. Remember, it's the same genus and species regardless of the variety. There are quite a few botanists and collectors who have crossed varieties.
     
  8. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Dean,

    This is a big "can of worms" for all of us crotonheads! But we love it! Just like all the good explanations listed above, there really is no list out there of all the named varities, really because it slowly increases overtime.


    For me personally, I haven't had the time to "bag" any seeds to collect them before they hit the ground. I just do it the old fashion way and let mother nature do it's thing.


    Jeff
     
  9. TikiRick

    TikiRick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL Zone 10b
    Of course, the best pollenators may be the lizards, bees, flies, and the like....hopping from one croton, picking up pollen, and depositing it unknowingly, on a ready female flower.

    What then develops is a hybrid seed, which then ripens, drops to the ground, sprouts, grows, gets yanked out, then fetches $400 at a Croton Society auction! How cool is this?
     
  10. Croton Guru

    Croton Guru Banned

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    SouthFlorida
    I also would say around 600 counting the Asian Varieties and European. Only about 150 or so Named in that 600 would be American Variety. That would of cource be legit names.
     

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