Codiaeum variegatum (L.) Rumph. ex A.Juss.

Last updated: 8 August 2016

Scientific Name

Codiaeum variegatum (L.) Rumph. ex A.Juss.


Codiaeum albicans G.Nicholson, Codiaeum angustifolium G.Nicholson, Codiaeum burtonii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum chelsonii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum chrysophyllum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum chrysosticton Rumph. ex Spreng. [Illegitimate], Codiaeum cooperi G.Nicholson, Codiaeum crispum Rumph. ex Müll.Arg., Codiaeum cuneifolium Zipp. ex Span., Codiaeum dodgonae G.Nicholson, Codiaeum eburneum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum elegans G.Nicholson, Codiaeum elegantissimum W.Bull, Codiaeum elongatum Linden & André, Codiaeum evansianum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum fucatum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum goldiei G.Nicholson, Codiaeum grande G.Nicholson, Codiaeum hanburyanum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum henryanum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum illustre G.Nicholson, Codiaeum imperiale G.Nicholson, Codiaeum insigne G.Nicholson, Codiaeum interruptum Baum, Codiaeum jamesii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum lancifolium G.Nicholson, Codiaeum lyratum Linden & André, Codiaeum macfarlanei G.Nicholson, Codiaeum maculatum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum magnificum Linden, Codiaeum majesticum W.Bull ex Nicholson, Codiaeum maximum Verschaff., Codiaeum medium Baill., Codiaeum moluccanum Decne., Codiaeum multicolor G.Nicholson, Codiaeum mutabile G.Nicholson, Codiaeum nevilliae G.Nicholson, Codiaeum obovatum Zoll. & Moritzi, Codiaeum pictum (Lodd.) Hook., Codiaeum pilgrimii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum recurvifolium G.Nicholson, Codiaeum roseopictum André, Codiaeum spirale G.Nicholson, Codiaeum stewartii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum superbiens G.Nicholson, Codiaeum sylvestre Rumph. ex Müll.Arg., Codiaeum taeniosum Rumph. ex Müll.Arg., Codiaeum timorense A.Juss., Codiaeum trilobum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum triumphans G.Nicholson, Codiaeum undulatum Cogn. & Marchal, Codiaeum vanoosterzeei Rodigas, Codiaeum volutum G.Nicholson, Codiaeum warrenii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum weismannii Cogn. & Marchal, Codiaeum williamsii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum wilsonii G.Nicholson, Codiaeum youngii G.Nicholson, Croton aigburtensis auct. [Illegitimate], Croton andreanus Linden, Croton andreeus Linden, Croton angustissimus auct. [Illegitimate], Croton aucubifolius André, Croton baliospermus Span., Croton bellulus Linden & André, Croton bergmanii Chantrier ex André, Croton carrieri Chantrier, Croton cornutus André, Croton drouetii Chantrier, Croton duvalii Chantrier, Croton evansianus auct., Croton hastiferus Linden & André, Croton hillianus Veitch ex André, Croton hookeri André, Croton hookeri Veitch, Croton imperialis T.Moore, Croton incanus Blume, Croton interruptus André, Croton irregularis André, Croton johannis Veitch ex Regel, Croton lacteus Van Houtte, Croton latimaculatus Chantrier, Croton massangeanum Linden ex André, Croton mirus Domin, Croton multicolor Veitch ex André, Croton musaicus André, Croton newmannii W.Bull, Croton philippsii B.S.Williams, Croton picturatum André, Croton pictus Lodd., Croton regelii auct., Croton russelli auct., Croton thomsonii auct., Croton truffautii Chantrier, Croton undulatus André, Croton variegatus L., Croton veitchianus André, Croton vervaetii Linden, Croton weismannii Cogn. & Marchal, Croton wigmannii B.S.Williams, Crozophyla angustifolia Raf., Crozophyla elliptica Raf., Crozophyla picta (Lodd.) Raf., Crozophyla variegata (L.) Raf., Junghuhnia glabra Miq., Oxydectes variegata (L.) Kuntze, Phyllaurea codiaeum Lour., Phyllaurea variegata (L.) W.Wight, Ricinus pictus Noronha, Codiaeum triumphans var. harwoodianum W.Bull ex Nicholson, Codiaeum variegatum f. ambiguum Pax, Codiaeum variegatum f. angustifolium Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. appendiculatum Celak., Codiaeum variegatum f. cornutum André, Codiaeum variegatum f. crispum Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. lanceolatum Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. latifolium Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. lobatum Pax, Codiaeum variegatum f. longifolium Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. medium Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. minus Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum var. moluccanum (Decne.) Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. parvifolium Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. perringii K.Schum., Codiaeum variegatum var. pictum (Lodd.) Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum f. platyphyllum Pax, Codiaeum variegatum f. taeniosum Müll.Arg., Codiaeum variegatum var. Variegatum [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Adal adal, puding, seginting [2], pudding mas, puding perak, daun segmenting, daun puding [3]
English Northern Queensland croton [2], garden croton, variegated laurel [3]
Indonesia Puring, pusind, tomas, katomas [3]
Thailand Kohson [3]
Papua New Guinea Baba’a, babaka, hamawanga, kai, marmara, simpika, tubuloko [2]
Australia Northern Queensland croton [4]
Fiji Sacasasa [5]

Geographical Distributions

Codiaeum variegatum is origin from Pacific Region, Fiji [6], Indonesia and Malaysia [7]. It is cultivated in Fujian, Guangxi, Hainan and Yunan and widely introduced in oceania. [7]

Botanical Description

C. variegatum is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family. [1][5] This glabrous shrub can grow up to 3m high. [7]

The leaves petiole measuring up to 2.5 cm long. The lamina is variable in shape and color, linear, linear-lanceolate, oblong, elliptic, lanceolate, ovate, spatulate, or fiddle-shaped to obovate, sometimes divided to midvein into upper and lower parts, 5-30 × (0.3-) 0.5-8 cm, thinly leathery. The color of lamina is green, purple-red, and/or yellow, sometimes with colored spots or stripes of spots, base cuneate to obtuse, apex acute or acuminate to rounded. [7]

The inflorescences are reaching to 30 cm. The male flowers are white; pedicels delicate; 5 petals, smaller than sepals; 5 disk glands; with 20- 30 stamens. The female flowers are yellowish; pedicels slightly thickened; sepals ovate-triangular in shape; disk annular and styles recurved, entire. The capsule is subglobose, slightly flattened, glabrous, more or less 9 mm in diameter. [7]

The seeds are around 6 mm long. [7]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

C. variegatum has been reported to contain 2-(3,4,5)-trihydroxy-6-hydroxymethyltetrahydropyran-2-yloxymethyl)acrylonitrile. [8]

Plant Part Used

Leaves, bark [5]

Traditional Use

The milky sap of the plant is considered an irritant to the skin [8], yet in the Fiji Island decoction of the bark is used to treat eczema, psoriasis and allergies. [5]

Fijian also uses juice from the leaves to treat fish poisoning and gonorrhoea and the bark is used with the bark of Saurauia rubicunda (A. Gray) Seem. and the root of Mussaenda raiateensis treat relapse after illness, and infective hepatitis. [5]

Preclinical Data


Antiviral activity

In the chromatographic fraction of C. variegatum is a cyanoglucoside identified as 2-(3,4,5)-trihydroxy-6-hydroxymethyltetrahydropyran-2-yloxymethyl)acrylonitrile. This compound displayed virucidal activity against influenza A virus (FLUAV) without impairment of haemagglutination properties. [9] 

Tumour promoting activity

C. variegatum was one of the plants out of 48 species of Euphorbiaceae that exhibited tumour promoting activities. It showed EBV inducing acitivity at as low as 0.2 to 1.2mg/ml of the plant extract in cell culture. [10]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation


No documentation

Side effects

No documentation

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

C. variegatum is known to cause contact dermatitis amongst nursery workers. It was found that within the methanolic extract of the leaves lie the allergens. The allergens had not been identified individually as yet. [8]

It would be good if this plant is not used as ornamentals in house landscaping because of the allergenic properties found and the tumour promoting activity as cited above.

Interaction & Depletion

No documentation

Interaction with drug

No documentation

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation


No documentation

Case Report

No documentation


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Codiaeum variegatum (L.) Rumph. ex A.Juss.Ver 1.1. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated on 2012 March 23; cited on 2016 Apr 5]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of plant names: common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC, 1999; p. 347.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p.206.
  4. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of plant names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms and etymology. Volume 1 A-C. Boca Raton, Fl: CRC Press, 1999; p. 573.
  5. Cambie RC, Ash J. Fijian medicinal plants. Csiro Publishing, 1994; p. 123, 2045.
  6. Oakman H. Harry Oakman’s what flowers when: the complete guide to flowering times in tropical and subtropical gardens. Queensland, Australia: Univ. Of Queensland Press, 1995: p. 19.
  7. Floras of China. Codiaeum variegatum. [homepage on the internet]. c2013 No date [cited on 2016, April 22]. Available from
  8. Hausen BM, Schulz KH. Occupational contact dermatitis due to croton (Codiaeum variegatum (L.) A. Juss var. pictum (Lodd.) Muell. Arg.). Sensitization by plants of the Euphorbiaceae. Contact Dermatitis. 1977 Dec;3(6):289-92.
  9. Forero JE, Avila L, Taborda N, et al. In vitro anti-influenza screening of several Euphorbiaceae species: structure of a bioactive Cyanoglucoside from Codiaeum variegatum. Phytochemistry. 2008 Nov;69(16):2815-9.
  10. Norhanom AW, Yadav M. Tumour promoter activity in Malaysian Euphorbiaceae. Br J Cancer. 1995 Apr;71(4):776-9.