Croton capitatus


Goatweed, wooly croton, hogwort, or dove weed (Croton capitatus) is a native herbaceous annual in the Euphorbiaceae. The plants are stellate-pubescent hence the wooly croton name, and the leaves are alternate, simple, and have pinnate major veins. The inflorescences are terminal short racemes, with pistillate flowers basally and staminate flowers terminal in the raceme. The flowers have five to eight sepals and small petals. The staminate flowers produce ten to fifteen stamens, and the pistillate flowers produce a single pistil. The ovary is superior, and the fruit is a three-locular capsule. The crushed leaves have a pleasant “medicine” odor and has been reported to have been used for that. Related species are used to make tea and this one may have also been used for that. Caterpillars from two butterflies (Goatweed Leafwing, Anaea andria) and Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) are reported to use the plant. And, caterpillars from two moths (soybean Looper Moth, Chrysodeixis includens) and fall Armyworm Moth, Spodoptera frugiperda) are also reported to eat this plant. Several plants at Allen Acres in disturbed areas where this plant likes to grow.