Alabama Croton, Croton alabamensis
Description: This rare, semi-evergreen southern shrub is found in the wild in only 4 counties in Alabama and possibly one in Tennessee. It’s cousin C. alabamensis var. texensis is found in a similarly restricted few counties in Texas. Because of the lack of availability, this shrub has never been fully appreciated for what it brings to our landscapes. The rich apple-green leaves have shimmering, silvery undersides that flash like lights as the wind blows them around. The more mature leaves turn a brilliant orange in fall and stay on the plant for much of the winter. Pale yellow-green blooms appear in early spring. The crushed leaves smell of apples and bananas. It is an unusual and handsome shrub and useful as a specimen or in mass plantings. Best in part shade and moist to dry well-drained soil. Height 5-9’. Zone 6-8. Plants are shipped in 1 gallon containers.