Annual, 2-6 dm, widely dichotomously branched, the lowest branches often 3-5 together; lvs ovate or ovate-oblong, 1-4 cm, entire, blunt or apiculate, broadly rounded to truncate at base, silvery-green and rather densely stellate; infls less than 1 cm; staminate fls minute, with 3-5 sep and pet and 3-8 stamens; pistillate fls with 5 sep and no pet, becoming reflexed; ovary bilocular, one locule later abortive; styles 2, deeply bifid; seed 1; 2n=16. Dry or sterile soil; O. to Io., Neb., and Colo., s. to Fla., Tex., and n. Mex.; occasionally adventive farther n. or e.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
In pastures and fallow fields, along roads and railroads, and rarely in open woods. South of Laurel in Franklin County and west of Paoli in Orange County I have seen it as a pernicious weed over acres of pasture land. Stock will not eat it. On account of its weedy nature, and since it was unknown to the early botanists, I think this species is adventive in Indiana although J. M. Coulter (Bot. Gaz. 2: 146. 1877) says: "All along over the knobs, on the way to the Barrens, we encountered any quantity of Croton monanthogynus." He doubtless followed an old road of travel where it may have been introduced. Dr. Clapp, who was well acquainted with the area, and who botanized the area about New Albany for 20 miles from 1832-1862, did not find this species. Riddell in his Flora of the Western States (1835) knew it only from St. Louis.
Indiana Coefficient of Conservatism: C = null, non-native