DWARF SPURGE

Euphorbia exigua

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZarchaeophyte
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ0
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8hollow
stem
stem8milkysap
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
contact
contactZmedium

28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
A short glaucous-green annual, to 9 inches tall with smooth stems. Stem leaves long and linear, the most distinctive feature distinguishing it from many other Spurges.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Flowering top not extetensively branched.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Fruits (one in the centre of the top half) are smooth


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
The bracts, which are in opposite pairs beneath the flowers, are broad and then taper to a lomg point.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Bracts curly at the edges. Smooth roundish fruit growing above the greenish-yellow flowers.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Flowers petalless, yellowish-green, with very slender crescentic horns.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Flowers four-lobed with slender crescentic horns, bottom left, and fruit growing above and to one side of it.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Leaves smooth, with a slight satin sheen.


28th June 2011, Cushinstown, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Fruit turning pink.


Not to be confused semantically with : Dwarf Birch, Dwarf Cherry, Dwarf Cornel, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Eelgrass, Dwarf Elder, Dwarf Gorse, Dwarf Mallow, Dwarf Mouse-ear, Dwarf Pansy, Dwarf Thistle or Dwarf Willow [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

Some similarities to : other Spurges such as Cypress Spurge but that has narrower leaves, and many more of them. The distinguishing features of Dwarf Spurge are the very narrow straight crescentic horns, the broad (but tapering to a long point) bracts beneath the flowers and the smooth fruits.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Like all spurges, when broken, the stems ooze a caustic and poisonous milky fluid which should not be allowed to come into contact with the skin, especially not the eyes when blindness may result.

The milky sap contains three diterpenoid Jatrophanes, which are polyesters, with one being IsoTerracinolide B which is also found in the non-native Euphorbia terracina,

Found mostly in a broad triangular area in the South East of England, and near Waterford, Eire. It imhabits arable fields, especially on calcareous soils.


  Euphorbia exigua  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Euphorbiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Spurge family8Euphorbiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Euphorbia
Euphorbia
(Spurges)

DWARF SPURGE

Euphorbia exigua

Spurge Family [Euphorbiaceae]

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